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County official in Montana brought up 'drunken Indians' in jails

An official in Ravalli County, Montana, said law enforcement authorities complained about "drunken Indians" in the jail system, drawing a rebuke from a leader of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Jan Wisniewski, the county's planning board chairman, used the slur at the end of a meeting where the tribe explained the significance of the Medicine Tree, a tribal sacred site.

"We are citizens of the United States," council member Steve Lozar said at the meeting, The Ravalli Republic reported. "We serve in the military at a higher rate than others. This is our homeland. I'm offended by those comments."

The county is opposing the tribe's land-into-trust application for the Medicine Tree.

Get the Story:
County discusses Medicine Tree plan (The Ravalli Republic 11/22)
Meeting About Tribal Land Ends with Slur (AP 11/24)

Related Stories:
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes discuss sacred site (11/22)
BIA approves land-into-trust application for Montana tribe (06/26)
County challenges Salish and Kootenai Tribes land-into-trust (05/30)

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