Montana Public Radio

Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes


This week, tribal members who protested the Keystone XL oil pipeline construction earlier this month submitted statements to a federal judge that they witnessed workers breaking social distancing protocol.

A Canadian company’s announcement this week that it plans to move forward with construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline in northern Montana has nearby Native American tribes and some locals concerned that the flow of workers could carry the novel coronavirus into a community with limited health care resources.

Montana’s tribal nations say their first responders and medical professionals are short on equipment needed to protect health care workers from the coronavirus.


Multiple tribes in Montana declared states of emergency over the weekend following the confirmation of six presumptive COVID-19 cases in the state.


As organizations on the Crow Reservation in south-central Montana prepare coronavirus contingency plans, some tribal members say the threat of coronavirus is still too distant to be an immediate source of concern.

 

Yellowstone Public Radio News reports Crow tribal government is in contact with state public health officials and, like other tribes in the state, are preparing for the possibility of the coronavirus reaching their communities.


A new report says the Keystone XL pipeline would exacerbate the problem of missing and murdered indigenous women in Montana and other Northern Plains states in the project’s proposed path.

The State-Tribal Relations Committee is pressing Montana’s Congressional delegation to do more to increase public input and tribal consultation on the Keystone XL pipeline. The move comes as the end of the public comment period for a recently updated environmental statement nears.

 

In an earlier report we mistakenly identified the age of a recently elected Fort Peck tribal executive board member.  Alexander Smith is actually younger than 24, making his recent election to the tribal executive board a record-breaking win.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Alexander Smith's age as 24. He is 20. 

The Fort Peck Tribes swore in a new Tribal government Monday. Tribal members elected five newcomers to Tribal Council while upholding the current chairman.

 

The U.S. State Department will host the only public meeting over its recently updated draft environmental statement for the Keystone XL pipeline Tuesday in Billings

This is the public’s first and only chance to meet with government officials in an open house to talk about the updated draft environmental statement for the controversial pipeline. A federal judge said late last year that the original draft needed further review of potential environmental impacts.

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