A Cheyenne Voice – April 5th


The Northern Cheyenne Transit Program is facing financial problems. As a result, all riders, including the elderly and handicapped may now have to pay full fares, according to Acting Director Janis Spear.

The program, established in 2008 under the Leroy Spang Administration was funded by a federal grant from the Federal Transit Administration (about $500,000). That funding enabled the Tribe to purchase two buses and begin providing public transit services on the Reservation, one of the poorest in MT. That grant paid for all the costs of the program (salaries, gas etc.)

Until now, the elders and the handicapped were able to use the Transit system for free. According to Mickey Burns, former Transit Liaison Specialist, who helped worked for the transit program when it first started, the program waived fees for the elderly.

Then TERO Director, Eugene Limpy hoped that transit services would always be free for the elders and handicapped, Burns said . Spear, who is serving in an acting capacity pending reor-ganization of the Tribal Transpor-tation programs, said that the Tribal Transit Program no longer receives federal funding pending another grant cycle and that they are looking for alternative funding with some good prospects.

In order to continue providing the service, everyone may have to pay to keep the it going,‖ Spear said. The program needs to produce revenue.‖ The fares (taken from the tribal website) are: one-way $2.00 (more than 10 miles) ; round trip—$3.00 and in the Lame Deer area—.50 cents. Therefore, we assume it would cost an elder from the Lame Deer area $1.00 to use the Transit system to go and eat lunch at the Elderly Program and then return home. This is the case when the elderly van often breaks down, or the program does not have gas cards or a driver.

I worry about that,‖ said Pauline Eaglefeathers, elderly program employee. Especially towards the end of the month when budgets run low‖.

In addition to the funding challenges, both of the Transit buses are in need of major repairs. Spear also said that the Saturday Billings run will be temporarily suspended. We looking at all possibilities to keep the Transit going,‖ Spear emphasized.

A Cheyenne Voice – March 21st


There were lots of smiling faces at the Lame Deer Elementary and High School on Thursday, March 20th as students and staff received brand-new Lands End jackets. (522 in all). This gift was provided by the Original Americans Foundation, a  new philanthropic organization founded by the Washington Redskins, other major sports teams and corporations. Kendra Brown, Eastern Band of Cherokees and Dewy Webb, Cherokee- Choctaw, staff for the foundation were on hand to        help distribute the gifts. In the near future, an additional 500 pairs of new Merrill sports shoes will be coming to the Reservation. More information about the new Foundation will be publicized in major media next week. The Foundation will be with many Tribes across the Nation. Merlin Sioux, Lame Deer Council member coordinated the event which has been in the planning stages for several months. “We look forward to a long term relationship with the Foundation,” he said. Sioux said he got involved by responding to an inquiry last November. “It took a lot of coordination to get all the sizes of the children, order the coats etc. And”, he added “the elders in Birney will also receive coats from       the donation.” Sherry Foote, Lame Deer Elementary School Principal said “When someone donates to our students it is an act of kindness that should happen more often. It is a good example to our children.” Foote also noted that         many of the students aren’t dressed appropriately for winter. Some of them come to school in hoodies. Finally, she commended Sioux’s efforts. “When our community gets involved with the school, it boosts morale. Merlin has shown    that he is here for the community. We need more of that.” she said. On Thursday, Sioux was originally scheduled to attend a function in Billings “Breakfast with the Boss” including the Governor and other state representatives. But, he canceled that in favor of the jacket distribution. “The      kids are more important,” he smiled.

A Cheyenne Voice – March 7th


Temperatures were many degrees below zero on the first Saturday in March , but that did not stop dedicated snowmobilers from the Wolf Mountain Search and Res-cue and supporters from turning out to support the Hanna Harris Murder Reward Fund. More than $7,500 has now been raised for this reward fund. “Please let people know that the fund is still open at the 1st Interstate Bank, Lame Deer and Colstrip branch-es.” said Mitsy Arnio, primary organizer for the Wolf Mountain Search and Rescue group of reservation volun-teers. T-shirts for the cause are currently on sale at the Flower Grinder in Lame Deer; a variety of colors and sizes are available for $20.00 per shirt. All proceeds will go to the Hanna Harris Reward Fund. The reward will go to a tip resulting in the arrest and conviction of the culprits.

A Cheyenne Voice – Feb 21st


On Wednesday, Feb. 19th, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe welcomed Senator Tester and newly appointed Senator Walsh with a luncheon at the Tribal Chambers. Tester and Walsh were on a state-wide ―listening tour‖ meet-ing with each MT of the Tribes. ―Come up with your vision and we‘ll support you,‖ Tester urged. Tester, a good friend to the Montana Tribes and Native people reported that he is now the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Senate

Indian Affairs, a key position for all Tribes. All legislation related to tribal and native issues must first pass through this Committee. Tester is the first Montana Senator to chair this Committee since 1988 when former Senator John Melcher held this important post. The Senators and their staff members were welcomed in traditional Cheyenne fashion including a prayer by Otto Braided Hair, Sr. and two honor songs, one specifically for a Veteran, to recognize Senator Walsh, a military officer. Both President Llevando ―Cowboy‖ Fisher and Vice-President Winfield Russell provided opening remarks. Fisher noted several key concerns: legislation needed by the Tribe to authorize an exchange of land and minerals between the Tribe and Great Northern Properties; the high crime rate and unsolved murders on the Reservation; highway safety on Highway 212; unemployment etc. ―We need your help to succeed,‖ President Fisher reminded the Senators. Tester told the Council members in attendance (Small Lafranier, Snow, Sioux, Robinson and Red Neck) and the small audience of community members that he will continue efforts to assist the Tribe. ―We’ve got some opportunities. But it‘s never been easy and it will not be easy.‖ He also encouraged tribal members to sign up for Obamacare which supports the I.H.S. and provides better health care. Walsh, new to his post announced that he will sponsor the Tribe‘s land and minerals exchange legislation as one of his first bills. ―I will work very hard to get that passed,‖ he promised. Continued on page 10

A Cheyenne Voice – Feb 7th


For the first time many years, the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Educa-tion Department is short on applicants for Higher Education and Job Training scholarships. ―We normally fund about 80 students per year, ― explained Norma Bixby, Director ―but so far we have far fewer completed applications.‖ The deadline is March 1, 2014 (see ad and requirements on page 5). The tribal education staff urges tribal members interested in college or voca-tional training to apply. ―Even if you are older and want training, come and see us.‖ Norma also reminds applicants that forms for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) must also be completed in the month of February. The Tribal Education Department is only able to assist students who have a demonstrated fi-nancial need. ―Those applications are submitted on-line,‖ she explained. Students can use the computer at the Tribal Education Department to complete the FAFSA and staff are available to help. Tribal education staff include: Norma Bixby (Director); Darlene Hamilton (in-state higher education counselor); Jason Whiteman (Job Placement and Training and out-of-state Higher Education Counselor); Angela Spotted Elk (Higher Education/Johnson O‘Malley assis-tant) and Liz Bahe (State of MT Talent Search Coordinator) Tribal Education is under the direction of the Scholarship Committee which approves or disapproves scholarships, approves budgets, hears appeals etc. Continued on pg 5

A Cheyenne Voice – Jan 24th


On Tuesday, January 21, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railrway (BNSF) Foundation donated $28,000 to programs that serve Northern Cheyenne youth. Matt Jones, Regional Di-rector of Public Affairs, BNSF personally made the check presen-tations to President Llevando ―Cowboy‖ Fisher at the Tribal Council meeting. ―BNSF has about 2,200 employees in Montana, including several important hubs in southeastern Montana. We are happy to partner with our neighboring communities,‖ Jones explained. ―These two projects fit within our mission.‖ Fisher, in turn presented the donations: Geri Small, ac-cepted $18,000 for the Boy‘s and Girl‘s Club that will support various youth programs and Curtis Yarlott, Executive Director was on hand to receive $10,000 for a St. Labre Water project. ―We truly appreciate these donations, because the Tribe can no longer afford to fund the Boy‘s and Girl‘s Club, ―Fisher noted. Small explained that the funding will support youth pro-grams such as ―Smart Moves‖, after school tutoring, computer literacy etc.

A Cheyenne Voice – Jan 10th


Saturday, January 4th, Congressman Steve Daines met with Northern Cheyenne officials at Lame Deer. He was accompanied by key staffers Charles Robinson, State Director and Jessica Flint, Eastern Regional Director. Daines was on a brief visit to Eastern Montana, meeting with five different Tribes to develop a working re-lationship. “We are on a journey together,” he assured the Tribal members. “My door is wide open. I look forward to a peer-to-peer relationship.” A member of the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaskan Native Affairs, Daines is in a key position to influence legislation and appropriations for Tribes. The tribal delegation included Vice-President Winfield Russell, Chief Executive Officer, William Walksa-long, Council members Marlene Redneck, Jenny Small La-franier, Merlin Sioux, Oly McMakin and Eloise Snow, sev-eral program directors and community members. They unanimously reminded the Congressman about the Tribal need for continued Federal funding to provide services. Topics ranged from health care, transportation, Highway 212, infrastructure, Northern Cheyenne Tribal Schools, edu-cation, law enforcement and justice. A key topic was the Land and Minerals Exchange Act, legislation which will soon be introduced to provide for an exchange of land and mineral rights between the North-ern Cheyenne Tribe and Great Northern Properties (GNP). continued on pg 8

A Cheyenne Voice – Dec 13th

Northern Cheyenne Ethnobotany Project: Identifying Current Plant Use Knowledge for Treating Chronic Disease among Citizens of the Northern Cheyenne Nation—by Joan Hantz

This project is being funded by Idea Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). The National Institutes of Health awarded this grant to Montana State University – Bozeman in support of this project. Chief Dull Knife College has received a sub-award and is working collaboratively with MSU. This study is the ascertain the current state of plant use knowledge and practice as it relates to chronic disease among citizens of the Northern Cheyenne Nation; and, to identify and support initiatives that may renew Northern Cheyenne ethnobotanical customary practices. Approximately, 25 elders will be interviewed to gather traditional plant knowledge. Interviewing will begin in January of 2014. The goal is to conduct research on the identification of traditional plants and their current use by members of the Northern Cheyenne Nation who currently reside on the reservation. Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Chief Dull Knife College hosted a lunch for elders in the community to inform them of the Ethnobotical project. The College is seeking potential Northern Cheyenne members that could possibly be interviewed to gather plant use knowledge. Anthony Whitedirt is the student intern for the Ethnobotan project. Anthony is compiling plant names, uses, photos and the Cheyenne name and creating a database with the information.

A Cheyenne Voice – Nov 29th

Tester pushes new bill to support Native American children

Senator’s legislation seeks to improve quality of life, reduce childhood poverty
(U.S. SENATE) – Montana’s only member of the Senate Indian Af-fairs Committee is backing new legislation to improve the quality of life for Native American children.
Senator Jon Tester is supporting a bipartisan bill that will create a na-tional Commission on Native American Children. The panel will recommend new ways to reduce childhood poverty and abuse in Indian Country while improving economic opportunities.
―It’s unacceptable that so many Native children find themselves without the opportunity to suc-ceed,‖ Tester said.
―Montana’s Native Americans have a proud history and tradition, and we need to find more ways to improve the quality of life for our future generations.‖
Tester’s bill, which was introduced by North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, will determine which current government initiatives are working well and recommend ways to better use resources, im-prove program coordination and develop stronger data to track pro-gress.
Currently, 37 percent of Native American children live in poverty, with only 50 percent of Native American children graduating from high school.
Tester, who visits each of Montana’s seven Indian reservations nearly every year, recently met with the Dean of Admissions from Little Big Horn College, Dr. David Small, to discuss the importance of improving education in Indian Country.
Tester’s bill, the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commis-sion on Native Children Act, is supported by the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Education Association and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium.

A Cheyenne Voice – Nov 15th

2013 Veterans Day Celebration—Northern Cheyenne

Hundreds of people showed up at the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Offices on Monday, November 11th to honor Northern Cheyenne Veterans. Lead organizer, Georgiane Kellum reported that the turnout was ―wonderful.‖ Activities included a traditional flag song; the display of flags, photos, medals etc. from individual Cheyenne veterans ( George Littlehead, George Kellum, Harry Littlebird, James King, Kenneth Beartusk, Joe Walksalong, the Highwalking family, Allen Rowland). ―Next year, we welcome more families to bring photos, flags and other items for display,‖ Ms. Kellum urged. A highlight of the activity was the National Anthem performed by tribal member Morgan King. An emotional and moving part of the event was the traditional reading of Northern Cheyenne Veteran names, starting with the warriors at the Battle of the Little Big Horn and moving forward to contemporary times. ―So many of our families have Veterans who have served in each war or conflict,‖ Kellum noted. Assisted by Tribal Vice- President Winfield Russell, a large group of community volunteers stepped forward to organize the event. Kellum specifically wanted to acknowledge and thank the following individuals (hoping not to forget anyone, if so, please forgive the omission.): Cleone Hiwalking, Rynalea Whiteman Pena, Renessa Russette; Neal and Diane Beartusk, Rae Peppers and family, Eloise Whitewolf, Letha Whitewolf, Jolene Spang, Florine Whiteman, Randal, Dallas and Jack Littlehead, Stacie Joiner and many others.