Montana Public Radio

Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes

Tribal nation leaders and conservation groups sent a letter to Montana’s governor Tuesday urging him to veto two bison management bills.

The leaders of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, the Fort Belknap Indian Community and Blackfeet Nation, along with the InterTribal Buffalo Council, Defenders of Wildlife and other conservation groups, say the two bison bills will threaten tribal efforts to restore bison through “the unlawful delegation of state powers and the restrictive definition of wild bison.”

Tribes Report Highest Vaccination Rates in Montana

Mar 22, 2021

While Gov. Greg Gianforte recently announced that all Montanans will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines on Apr. 1, tribal nations in the state have made the vaccine available to everyone and are currently reporting some of the highest vaccination rates in Montana.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday announced that it issued compliance orders to correct violations for water systems on the Blackfeet and Fort Belknap Reservations.

Business owners and community members in northeastern Montana say they were looking forward to the added tax dollars and customer base the Keystone XL pipeline would have brought into the area before President Joe Biden cancelled a vital permit for the development.

Last week Montana’s governor visited Glasgow in Valley County and held a roundtable with local officials and business people there.

Labels on the back of CSKT servers name the locations of four cellular towers on that are broadcasting high-speed internet over roughly 1,300 square miles on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

The build-out of wireless broadband networks in Indian Country may get a boost from a new $1 billion tribal broadband fund. The federal fund was set up by the latest COVID relief bill late last year.

Of the 179 missing persons in Montana, 29 percent are Native American. Montana’s Missing Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Task Force met Thursday for an update and to elect a new presiding officer.

At the task force meeting, presiding officer and state Deputy Attorney General Melissa Schlichting announced she was leaving the position to start a new job with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Helena.

The MMIP Task Force voted unanimously to appoint Ellie Bundy, a task force member and tribal council member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, as new presiding officer.

Fort Peck Tribal Chairman Reinstated

Dec 4, 2020

The Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribal Executive Board reinstated suspended Chairman Floyd Azure following a vote on Dec. 3.

During a special public board meeting, attorney Georgette Boggio read nine charges from the Tribal Executive Board against Chairman Floyd Azure, which led to his suspension on Nov. 5.

"The Chairman has acted to create division and violate his oath to serve the best interests of the Tribes," Boggio said.

As Montana sees a surge in COVID-19 cases, medical facilities, particularly within tribal nations, are being pushed to their limits.

Kaci Wallette is a nurse at the Poplar Community Hospital, a facility in northeast Montana, where a full staff consists of three nurses and three certified nursing assistants.

Montana Rodeo Goes On, Bucking Fears On Fort Peck Reservation

Jul 17, 2020
Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede rodeo contestants got a temperature check before entering the arena and were not allowed to cross over to the fans’ side of the stadium.
Katheryn Houghton for Kaiser Health News

WOLF POINT, Mont. — Cowboys lined the metal chutes that released bucking horses and their riders into the arena, Miss Rodeo Montana signed autographs for fans, and coronavirus warning signs ended with “Face mask usage is of personal choice.”

Most of the rodeo riders and audience at the Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede appeared to skip masks, despite public health recommendations and increasing pressure to stem the spread of COVID-19 cases spiking across Montana and much of the U.S.

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.