Posts Tagged ‘Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’

An online petition that apologizes to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes has garnered nearly 300 signatures since the chairman of the Ravalli County Planning Board made

Steve Lozar

Steve Lozar

comments CSKT officials found “deeply” offensive late last week.

Five tribal members, including CSKT council member Steve Lozar, traveled to Hamilton last week to explain to Ravalli County commissioners the significance of a cultural area known as the Medicine Tree. As the Missoulian’s Perry Backus reports, the tribes want to place the 58-acre site that they purchased in 1998 in trust with the federal government.

But the meeting turned contentious when Jan Wisniewski, chairman of the planning board, offered up his observations from what he termed a “fact-finding” trip across Montana.

Wisniewski said he had a conversation with law enforcement officials in Havre who complained about their jails being filled with “drunken Indians” off the reservation.
Lozar replied that the tribal members in attendance had come to Hamilton with a “good heart” to sit down and discuss issues important to both sides.
Lozar said he was “deeply, deeply offended” to hear comments about “drunken Indians” in the Havre jail.
“We are citizens of the United States,” he said. “We serve in the military at a higher rate than others. This is our homeland. I’m offended by those comments.”

The online petition invites Ravalli County residents to sign an apology, started by Pamela Small, that says statements made by county officials at the meeting to not reflect their views.

“We extend an apology to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes for the offensive, unacceptable behavior of the Ravalli County Commissioners and Chairman of the Planning Board at the recent meeting concerning transfer of the Medicine Tree property to a federal trust,” the petition reads. “The opinions expressed do not represent the citizens of Ravalli County. We strongly support the Confederated Tribes right to make decisions over their sacred lands.”

- Vince Devlin

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Two trips to the polls

   Posted by: buffalo_post    in Uncategorized

It’s going to take two trips to the polls to decide who’s headed to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ general election next month.

Carole DePoe Lankford, who represents the Ronan District, got the highest number of votes among the five Tribal Council incumbents running for re-election in the recent Confederated Salish and Kootenai primary election.

Carole DePoe Lankford, who represents the Ronan District, got the highest number of votes among the five Tribal Council incumbents running for re-election in the recent Confederated Salish and Kootenai primary election.

The Missoulian reports a race so tight between incumbent Reuben Mathias and challenger Len Two Teeth in the Elmo District following the Nov. 2 primary that a recount was forced – and that the recount tightened it up into a tie.

Mathias had held a two-vote lead over Two Teeth on Wednesday after absentee and contested ballots were added to Saturday’s primary vote, triggering Thursday’s recount.

When it was done, Two Teeth’s total remained at 280 votes but Mathias’ total dropped from 282 to 280 as well.

Now Mathias and Two Teeth will meet in a runoff election on Nov. 16 to determine which advances to the general election against Junior Caye, who polled the most votes of any of the 43 candidates on the primary ballot – 639.

Council member Carole DePoe Lankford got the most votes of any of the five incumbents running for re-election – 535.

– Vince Devlin

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Missoulian reporter Vince Devlin had this good news from the Flathead Reservation last week:

ST. IGNATIUS – S&K Technologies had somewhere between 40 million and a billion reasons to celebrate Friday.
One of the firm’s seven companies, S&K Aerospace, landed a U.S. Air Force contract worth almost $1 billion, CEO Tom Acevedo confirmed.

While the bulk of the money will go to purchasing and repairing military equipment for more than 80 nations around the world, the contract will be worth $40 million to $50 million to S&K Aerospace to oversee the program for the next five years.
The $975 million contract is triple that of any previous contract S&K, owned by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, has been awarded.

“What’s more exciting is that it was a full and open competition,” Acevedo said. “It means we can go up against any company of any size, and compete for and get these types of contracts.”

This one is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world.

URS Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, has held the federal contract for the past 10 years.

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Missoulian reporter Tristan Scott takes a closer look at the U.S.-Cadanda border and how crossing that line is sometimes a struggle for tribal members.

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe officials have been mulling options and expressing frustrations about the situation at the border during talks with U.S. Border Patrol and Customs representatives this winter.

As Scott writes, there is a lot to discuss.

    ELMO – The 49th parallel. The International Boundary. The Border.

    In Montana, it is the northernmost perimeter, a 545-mile-long line along which the state rises to meet three Canadian provinces. The border distinguishes two nations and was born of negotiations that helped end the American Revolutionary War.

    But to members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Blackfeet Nation, among others, the U.S.-Canada border is an arbitrary line demarcating ancestral lands, separating families and undermining tribal sovereignty.

    In the most trifling circumstances, the border poses an annoyance to tribal members who regularly travel between Canada and the United States for family visits, council meetings or cultural and religious ceremonies. However, in other instances, either due to a lack of cultural awareness or a misunderstanding by officials with Customs and Border Protection, tribal members have been deeply offended or had their travel plans derailed.

    Too many tribal members share horror stories of family members who are prohibited from crossing the border because they do not have a passport (they are not required to possess one) and of religious or cultural items that are unknowingly desecrated by Customs personnel, such as eagle feathers, sweetgrass or sacred medicine bundles.

    “A lot of law enforcement and border patrol are ignorant about our culture and tradition in general,” said Vernon Finley of the Kootenai Culture Committee. “They don’t understand that as a tribe who lives along the border, we are allowed to move fluidly throughout our territory. We always have been. And they don’t understand the significance of our religious objects.”

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The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana held council elections in mid-December. The winds of change must of been blowing hard that day.

As Vince Devlin of the Missoulian reports, four of five incumbents were voted out of office.

The CSKT council consists of 10 seats come up for election every two years. Once the councilors are seated, they choose a chairman.

    PABLO – Tribal government on the Flathead Indian Reservation will take on a decidedly different look Friday, when the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Council elects a new leader and four new council members are sworn in.

    Voters last month turned four of five incumbents out of office, including Tribal Chairman E.T. “Bud” Moran.

    Only council member Terry Pitts of Dixon was able to hang onto his job, defeating challenger Anita L. Orr Matt 659-626.

    Every other incumbent went down to defeat. The casualties included both Moran, who represented the Pablo District, and former Chairman James Steele Jr. of Arlee.

    “I’ve said before that Jimmy the Greek would have lost his shorts in a tribal election,” said former CSKT Chairman Fred Matt, who himself lost a 2006 council race that cost him the leadership position. “I can’t see any rhyme or reason to why it happens. There were no hot-button issues. I really think a large number of people just vote to change. They don’t always have a specific reason.”

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A high-rise steel teepee landmark for present and future generations to cross over stands tall on the west side of Highway 93. The bridge was open to the public last month. (Lailani Upham photo)

Bridge to connect communities, pave way for future generations
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes celebrated the opening of a 265-foot long footbridge connecting its tribal complex to Salish Kootenai College last month, Char-Koosta News reports.

The bridge is anchored on both sides by teepees ramps that tower over the highway running through the town of Pablo.

Planning for the $3.2 million project, which was partially funded by stimulus funds, began in 2009.

    CSKT Tribal Health Director and Montana Transportation Commission Chairman Kevin Howlett said the structure connects the community to the future. “Building this represents generations to follow us into the future,” Howlett addressed those in attendance.

More Native American remains found in Oak Harbor; count rises to 11
Workers recovered more Native remains at a work site near Coupeville, Wash., the Whidbey News-Times reports, convincing experts working at the site that the space now occupied by a mini-mart must have once been a burial ground used by tribes in the area.

Eleven sets of remains have now been found under a section of land there and experts expect more will be revealed as the investigations into the remains’ origin continues. The findings have halted a road project, as state officials continue to investigate the remains.

    (The state’s) physical anthropologist has completed only about two-thirds of his analysis so it’s very possible the remains of more people could be identified. She could not say whether this will further delay the project.

    However, Project Manager Larry Cort said today that the recent discoveries will warrant another meeting between the state office, the city, and the six affected tribes.

    The discussion will focus mainly on what to do with the remains. They could be left where they are or removed and reburied with the bones of the four others discovered in June, Cort said.

Jenna Cederberg

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Casey Lozar (Photo courtesy American Indian College Fund)

Casey Lozar, an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, was promoted to the position of vice president of resource development for the Denver, Colorado-based American Indian College Fund.

In his new role, Lozar is responsible for resource development for all fundraising departments at the Fund, a Fund news release said.

ICTMN had the story as well.

Lozar grew up in northwestern Montana and along with his job at the AIC Fund is working toward an MBA at the University of Colorado.

    Lozar’s career includes having received two prestigious professional honors. He was named as one of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s 2010 Native American 40 Under 40 Award, which recognizes 40 existing and emerging American Indian leaders under 40 years of age who demonstrate leadership, initiative and dedication to achieve significant contributions in their careers, communities, and to Indian Country. He was also named as one of 12 of the Independent Sector NGEN Leadership Fellows.

Jenna Cederberg

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Two bills signed into law this spring will help even out taxes for tribal entities, the Char-Koosta news reports. A lobbying effort from members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes help ensure the passage of the bills.

    The first victory was the passage of House Bill 618, which provides for a property tax exemption for property owned by the Tribes if the property is used for essential governmental services. The passage of this bill puts the Tribal government on equal footing with cities, counties and the state where property is used for governmental purposes.

HB 618 will also help equalize tribal college tax exemptions and help clarify property size limits for the institutions.

    The next triumph was Senate Bill 412, which provides for a temporary tax exemption while the Tribes are transitioning tribally owned property from fee status to tribal Trust status. The federal fee-to-trust process is an expensive 17-step process with involvement of the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs and several contracted professionals.

Jenna Cederberg

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Agencies, tribes hash out bison management

   Posted by: buffalo_post    in bison

Several tribes are asking for more organization when it comes to managing bison in Yellowstone National Park.

The Bozeman Chronicle reports:

    Representatives from the Nez Perce tribe, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes and the Intertribal Buffalo Council said there was a lack of protocol and choreography among the groups involved and asked that there be a written procedure for the way they make decisions, meet and conduct business.

Representatives from several government agencies said they agreed written protocol as needed.

    Those at the meeting also asked about the fate of bison that are part of a quarantine project. The animals in question do not have brucellosis, a disease that can cause miscarriages. The disease has made bison a controversial topic once they wander onto state land because of a fear that the sickness could spread to cattle and threaten the livestock industry.

    Pat Flowers, Region 3 supervisor for FWP, said environmental assessments are ongoing at four locations where quarantined bison could temporarily be taken. Flowers noted that though the Department of Livestock tends to have a say in the management of potentially infected bison in the state, it would not have jurisdiction over the quarantined animals because they are disease-free.

Jenna Cederberg

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Ray Halbritter (Courtesy ICTMN)

Ray Halbritter (Courtesy ICTMN)

Indian Country Today Media Network site launches
The new Indian Country Today Media Network launched this week under the motto “Serving the Nations, Celebrating the People.”

The site include news alert and recent posts section under a slideshow-like format containing its features. Not only are the photos done more justice, videos are now also have a spot to call their own. Reader shared content is being actively solicited.

I spent some time on the site Friday afternoon, but not enough. Take some time to look around if you haven’t yet.

Oneida Nation CEO Ray Halbritter posted this in his site introduction message:

    The website will serve as a one-stop destination for the vast and growing number of people interested in our news, culture, ideals and businesses. Most important is the website’s social network: The nations’ first true online community and forum for all of our disparate and common interests.

Maggie Goode first Native American appointed to federal board
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes member Maggie Goode was recently named to the USDA’s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation board of directors. It makes her the first Native and first Montanan to hold a spot on the board, the Char-Koosta reports.

Goode’s family ranches in northwestern Montana, near the small town of Niarada. She will serve a four-year term.

    The FCIC consists of a ten-member board, with each being nominated to and then selected and appointed for a four-year term by the Department of Agriculture Secretary. Goode said, she is still unaware of who may have nominated her for the position.

    Goode said, she is honored for the appointment and is pleased that a tribal member will be involved in the decision making process. “Tribes need involvement at all levels; county, state and federal,” she added.

Crow Tribe discusses water settlement bill
From Susan Olp of the Billings Gazette:

CROW AGENCY — In 1998, Clara Nomee, then chair of the Crow Tribe, instigated negotiations with state officials over a possible water compact.

On Tuesday, she sat on the stage of the Multipurpose Building in Crow Agency as speaker after speaker, including U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, talked about the importance of the recently passed federal bill that would quantify the tribe’s water rights and bring hundreds of millions of dollars in water projects to the Crow Tribe.

“It’s for the benefit of employment of the people,” Nomee said in a soft voice, over the din of a loudspeaker. “And it’s for the betterment of the reservation.”

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