Montana Public Radio

Native Americans

Women and girls in Indian country go missing and are involved in homicides at a far greater rate than any other demographic of people in Montana. That’s according to testimony today in the legislative State-Tribal Relations Committee, which is studying the issue. 

Marita Growing Thunder (right) walks along Hillside Rd in honor  of missing and murdered indigenous women on March 27. Tuesday was day three of a four day 80 mile walk.
Nicky Ouellet

A young artist and activist is wrapping up a four-day walk across the Flathead reservation Thursday to bring attention to violence against Native American women.

Sign saying "Welcome to Blackfeet Indian Country."
Will Marlow (CC-BY-NC-2)

The Montana Department of Commerce is creating a new position to promote tourism in Indian Country.

Casey Lozar with the Department of Commerce says the new Tribal Tourism Officer will develop culturally appropriate visitor orientation and tourism services in cooperation with the eight Native American nations in Montana.

Anna Whiting Sorrell is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and works for their health department
Mike Albans / NPR

Today, NPR’s Morning Edition aired a story about discrimination Native Americans face when trying to get healthcare in America. It included an interview with Anna Whiting Sorrell, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

We’re going to follow up now by looking at some of the persistent myths about American Indians that get in the way of them getting healthcare.

Three bills aimed at helping Indian tribes passed the Senate yesterday, and one of them is going to President Donald Trump’s desk. All three were sponsored by Democratic Senator Jon Tester.

Montana’s Native American children face greater barriers to opportunity than their peers in other states according to the 2017 Race for Results study released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Teresa Brockie, the first Native American instructor to be on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, was inducted this month as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.
Courtesy

Teresa Brockie, the first Native American instructor to be on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, was inducted this month as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. It’s an acknowledgment of the White Clay tribal member's contribution to public health research.

Originally from Hays, on the Fort Belknap Reservation, Teresa Brockie is best known for drawing connections between historical trauma in Native American communities and adverse health effects later in life, like suicide risk and drug use.

Some of the people at the two day suicide prevention gathering in Helena this week
Eric Whitney

 


One day after the suicide of a mountaineer in Montana made headlines across the country, Governor Steve Bullock addressed a gathering in Helena, and brought up another suicide that didn't make the news.

"Last Thursday, the Ft. Belknap community buried one of their own," Bullock said. "She had been a scholar at Harlem High, she'd been an athlete and a role model. She was a soldier, National Guard member representing her state and her nation."

Dancers at the Arlee  Esyapqeyni in June
Eric Whitney

Funding for a Native American language preservation program could get cut next month if revenues don’t increase as the state fiscal year comes to an end. 

The State-Tribal Relations Interim Committee was briefed by legislative staff Thursday that budget cuts will be triggered in mid-August.

Amy Carlson, a Legislative Fiscal Analyst, says state revenues have continued falling below projections since lawmakers passed the state budget in April.

Steven Lewis Simpson is a white, European filmmaker telling a story about Native Americans through his latest film screening now across Montana.

“Neither Wolf Nor Dog” is adapted from the 1994 best-selling novel by author Kent Nerburn. It's about a white writer who gets sucked into life on reservations in the Dakotas by the late Lakota Chief, Dave Bald Eagle, whose people were killed in the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. Brie Ripley spoke with the filmmaker about the complexities of telling a story that isn’t yours.  

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