Bill introduced to extend recognition to Little Shell Chippewa Tribe

Chief Little Shell was a leader of the Little Shell Tribe in the late 1800s. Photo from Turtle Mountain Chippewa Heritage Center

The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana would gain federal recognition under a bill introduced on the first day of the 114th Congress.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana), a new member of the Senate introduced S.35, the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act,, on Tuesday. The lawmakers will use their positions on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to push for passage of the bill.

"Congress has a trust responsibility to our nation's tribes, and that responsibility should extend to Montana's Little Shell," Tester, the top Democrat on the committee, said in a press release. "Their federal recognition will strengthen all of Indian Country and help us live up to the promises we've made."

"The federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe is long overdue," added Daines, who will be a new member of the committee. "I'm proud to join in this important effort to ensure the federal government provides the Little Shell people with the recognition and support they deserve."

The tribe was denied recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. But Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has ordered a reconsideration so it's possible the administrative process will result in success.

Get the Story:
Legislators seek Little Shell Tribe recognition (The Great Falls Tribune 1/7)

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