Daines and Little Shell Tribe Push Federal Recognition for Tribe - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Daines and Little Shell Tribe Push Federal Recognition for Tribe

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Congressman Steve Daines sat down with Little Shell chairman Gerald Gray and the rest of the tribal leaders to go over the progress of the bill for federal recognition of the tribe.

The tribe says recognition has been a long time coming and they are eagerly awaiting the day it happens.

"That's gonna be a huge emotional day. Almost words can't explain it. A lot of our elders, who have passed, waited for this day, and a lot of people are still waiting. Words wouldn't explain how exciting that day will be," says Gray

Federal recognition means so much to the Little Shell Tribe because it will protect their members and provide many needed services, such as health care and college scholarships. Daines says he is doing everything he can to get the important bill passed in Washington.

"Well this is important its about the Little Shell Tribe, which is recognized by the state of Montana but not federally recognized. The Little Shell Tribe will become eighth federal recognized tribe once we get passed bill in Washington. This is a bipartisan issue that we need to address. Its a tribe that has treaties dating back to 1800s. The community supports this, and it is what we are fighting for in Washington," says Daines.

Daines says the next step will be to hold a hearing. Then the bill would then have to be passed in the House and Senate before it would go on to be signed by President Obama. Both the Little Shell Tribe and Daines are excited for the bill to make it through of those steps.

After meeting with the Little Shell Tribal leaders, Daines traveled to the Rocky Boy Winter Celebration Pow Wow and continued on to meet with the Northern Cheyenne reservation and Crow reservation.

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