Opinion: Gros Ventre Tribe opposed to water deal
"The Gros Ventre Treaty Committee opposes the Fort Belknap Water Compact as is.

The Fort Belknap Indian Community Council does not have authority to negotiate on the Gros Ventre Tribe's behalf. The Fort Belknap Constitution states that matters of great concern should be decided by the Gros Ventre people.

Yet Julia Doney, (Assiniboine) chair of the Fort Belknap Indian Community Council, submitted unsigned testimony in February 2005 to the Montana Legislature that was read into the record by legislator Jonathan Windy Boy. The state of Montana interpreted this to mean that the Fort Belknap Indian Community supported the Fort Belknap Water Compact. This compact was forwarded to Congress for final approval.

Fort Belknap Indian Community Council has retained legal counsel, Tom Fredericks, paid by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Counsel advocates settlement of water rights, not in the interests of the Gros Ventre Tribe, but in the interest of the northern half of the Fort Belknap Reservation, which is mainly occupied by Assiniboine people. The GVTC and individual tribal members' interests are not being represented.

GVTC requested that counsel be fired and that legal counsel be hired who respectfully represents Gros Ventre people."

Get the Story:
Willie Bradley and Ed Filesteel: Gros Ventre unhappy over Fort Belknap Water Compact (The Billings Gazette 3/31)

Relevant Links:
Fort Belknap Indian Community - http://www.fortbelknapnations-nsn.gov