Montana Public Radio

Rynalea Whiteman Pena

Republicans in the Montana House of Representatives endorsed a state budget Monday that outlines $12 billion in spending over two years. The Republican majority advanced the state spending package with every Democrat voting against it. 

Following the election, ten Native Americans have won their races and will be serving in Montana’s legislature. This is fewer Indigenous representatives than last session.

Montana remains one of the few states whose legislature has racial parity, meaning the makeup of the legislature is proportional to the racial makeup of the state. Next year, members of the Montana American Indian Caucus will account for nearly seven percent of the state legislature, which, according to the 2010 Census, is almost exactly the same percentage of Native Americans living in Montana.

The Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana has declared a continued state of emergency until the number of COVID-19 cases in the area declines. Here's what this means for reservation residents.

On Oct. 5 President Rynalea Whiteman Pena of the Northern Cheyenne tribe issued an executive order extending the full lockdown of the reservation.

Northern Cheyenne President Rynalea Pena Aug. 9 ordered a reservation-wide lockdown through Wednesday, August 19, citing a surge in COVID-19 cases and people not following existing health mandates meant to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A sign from a Jan. 9, 2019 missing and murdered Indigenous women vigil in Missoula.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force met for a third time  in Billings Friday, Sept. 27.

Charyl Eagle came to the meeting to make sure task force members address how meth and human trafficking might affect Montana’s high rate of missing indigenous people.