Little Shell Tribe hopes for recognition under Obama

With President Barack Obama in the White House, the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe of Montana hopes 2009 will be the year of its federal recognition.

The Clinton administration issued a proposed finding in favor of the tribe in May 2000. But nothing happened to finalized the decision during the eight years of the Bush era.

"They don't recognize us as Native Americans," Edna Doney Teske, 74, told USA Today. "They don't recognize us as whites. So where do we belong?"

Tribal leaders met with Obama when he campaigned in Montana. Executive director Russell Boham said he seemed open to recognition for the tribe.

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Much at stake for tribes awaiting recognition (USA Today 5/5)