Blackfeet tribal lawsuit about illegal actions on water rights - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Blackfeet tribal lawsuit about illegal actions on water rights

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A recently passed water compact in the Blackfeet nation, is under-fire because of a group of tribal members. They claim the agreement between the state and the tribe was illegally passed. We spoke to both the society members and the tribal council.

Tribal chairman Harry Barns said the council has done nothing illegal and left the choice up to the people. However the plaintiff's claim this is not the case and the council illegally lowered the number of votes needed.

"I'm not surprised at all by this lawsuit they have been vocal in the past about the tribal council acting illegally and justly," said Barns. 

The court document cite tribal law. Which says no sale or mortgage may be made by the tribe of any land or interests within the boundaries of the Blackfeet nation.
"I just think it was a miss-repsentation of us by the Federal government, BIA representatives  and our Montana Legislatures," said Red Blanket member Duane Many Hides.

But the council continues to claim they speak on behalf of the people.

" We conducted our business as per  our resolution as past councils that direct us to get the best deal we could and bring it back to the people," said Barns. 

The arguments against the agreement don't stop there. Opponent have said this is also a human rights violation.
" Without water even the ones who oppose us can not survive  without purified water," said Many Hides

The Red Blanket society sent out a press release, and claim they have found evidence of fracking fluid dump sites..
Which they believe will compromise drinking water down stream. Chairman barns said no one from the tribal EPA has alerted him to any contamination.

Several members of the Blackfeet Administration said they have met with members of their legal team. 

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