MTPR

Blackfeet Nation

Blackfeet Water Settlement Clears U.S. Senate Committee

Feb 3, 2016
U.S. Capitol
flickr user Tim Evanson (CC-BY-SA-2)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved a $420 million water rights settlement with Montana's Blackfeet American Indian tribe on Wednesday, sending the measure to the full Senate with how to pay for it still unresolved.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Louisiana company has asked a federal judge to block government plans to cancel a long-stalled federal energy lease on land considered sacred to American Indians.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

Today, a federal district court allowed an extension in a case over energy development in the Badger-Two Medicine area of Lewis and Clark National Forest.

These Browning kindergartners spend part of their day learning in English, and part of it learning in Blackfeet. The school's aim is to have a class of fluent Blackfeet speakers by the time the students graduate from high school.
Courtesy Emily Ritter Saunders

This year, the Montana state legislature passed a bill that provides funding for public schools to start immersion programs in native languages. It’s part of an effort to preserve these fragile cultures. Across the United States, about 115 languages have been lost in the last five centuries. But so far, the Browning school system, on the southern part of the Blackfeet Reservation, is the only district to take the money.

Sheriff truck.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-NC-2)

The Montana Law Enforcement Academy will graduate 53 new officers Friday, and most of them will report for duty by Monday. Academy administrator Glen Stinar says this class includes 13 Native American graduates. That’s more Native officers than any other basic course in the Academy’s history.

St. Mary River.
Royalbroil (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A vote on a water compact for the Blackfeet tribe was delayed Wednesday, as Montana’s U.S. Senators requested more time to finalize the bill’s language.

Two Medicine River, in the Badger-Two Medicine area.
Courtesy Gene Sentz

Federal officials say they are prepared to cancel a long-suspended oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area near Glacier National park.

We know the story in broad strokes: Anglo-Americans settled in the East, then moved West. Again and again, trade with Indians was replaced by war. In less than a hundred years, it was over, many tribes forced onto reservations. Off the national radar, what's been going on? Harry Barnes knows better than most. He’s Chairman of the Tribal Council Of the Blackfeet Nation, and our guest this week on "Home Ground Radio".

On Friday Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack sent a letter to the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urging her to cancel the 18 remaining leases on the Forest Service land that’s sacred to the Blackfeet people.
(PD)

The head of the U.S. Forest Service now says he believes that all oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest should be cancelled.

On Friday Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack sent a letter to the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urging her to cancel the 18 remaining leases on the Forest Service land that’s sacred to the Blackfeet people.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

This week more voices came out in support of canceling oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest.

Nineteen retired U.S. Forest Service leaders sent a letter to the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture urging the cancellation of the 18 remaining leases.

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