February 27th, 2014
SENATORS TESTER AND WALSCH VISIT NORTHERN CHEYENNE
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
February 12th, 2014
TRIBAL EDUCATION RECRUITING APPLICANTS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION AND JOB TRAINING SCHOLARSHIPS
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
February 12th, 2014
URLINGTON NORTHERN SANTA FE RAILWAY FOUNDATION MAKES GRANTS TO ASSIST NORTHERN CHEYENNE YOUTH
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.
February 12th, 2014
CONGRESSMAN DAINES MEETS WITH NORTHERN CHEYENNE
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
December 13th, 2013
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.
December 13th, 2013
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.
December 13th, 2013
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.
December 13th, 2013
Government Shutdown—Already Affecting The Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Federal Agencies and Lame Deer Public Schools
The atmosphere in the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Chambers on October 2nd, 2013 was subdued. Acting Tribal President Winfield Russell met with Tribal Program Directors to discuss the effects of the Government ―Shut Down‖ on the Northern Cheyenne Tribe which relies heavily upon the Federal Government to provide services and pro-grams.
―The Tribal Administration and tribal Council have been meeting to prepare for a continued shutdown,‖ Russell advised the pro-gram directors. ―We don‘t know yet if the U.S. Government has answers, but if we have to take certain measures, we will. If the situation does not change by Friday (October 4th) stand by for possible furloughs.‖ Russell also issued a general memorandum establishing an immediate moratorium on all Travel and Training. ―Due to the lack of Federal appropriations and the unresolved funding legislation currently occurring in the U.S. Congress, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe is experiencing severe adverse impacts in the form of lack of Federal funds to continue certain Tribal program activities. The failure…has resulted in a bleak financial condition for the Tribal Government,‖ the memo advised.
November 26th, 2013
We apologize for the absence; we were experiencing technical difficulties with the site host. But we’re back now! The past issues will be available soon, and we’re back on track to release the latest issue every 2 weeks once again.
November 21st, 2013
TESTER VISITS NORTHERN CHEYENNE DURING TRIP ACROSS MONTANA
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester recently visited Lame Deer to meet with tribal leaders and discuss
their priorities. Tester’s visit was part of his August work around the state to meet with Montanans.
Tester met with members of the Northern Cheyenne Council. Tester and the members
discussed economic development opportunities, ways to increase access to affordable housing, and
how to improve health care.
“Growing Montana’s economy depends on making sure all of our communities have a chance to
succeed,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. “I visit each tribe at least once
a year to hear directly from tribal leaders and community members about their priorities.”
During Tester’s visit to Lame Deer, he toured the new wing of the elementary school. He also
met with a group of community members who are concerned about violence on the reservation.
Tester recently hosted a listening session on economic development in Indian Country with Senate
Indian Affairs Committee Chair Maria Cantwell in Missoula. Representatives from all of Montana’s
tribes attended, including Northern Cheyenne Acting President Winfield Russell.
Upon returning to the Senate, Tester is working with his colleagues on the Indian Affairs Committee
to reauthorize the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA). The bill
addresses some of the concerns raised by the tribal council by streamlining the housing assistance process,
allowing tribes access to veterans’ housing assistance and encouraging the use of low-income
housing credits for project that serve Indian Country.