A Cheyenne Voice – Oct 4th

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.

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A Cheyenne Voice – September 20th

(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.

A Cheyenne Voice – Sept 6th

Llevando ―Cowboy  Fisher Vs. L. Jace Killsback For Tribal President

Former Tribal President and current Birney Tribal Council
member Llevando “Cowboy” Fisher, pulled off a “long shot” as a last
minute write in candidate during the Northern Cheyenne Primary
held on September 5th, 2013. With the second highest number of
votes (205) he advances to the General Election facing L. Jace Killsback,
(254), current Busby Council member.
Killsback was also a candidate for Tribal President in the
2012 fall election for losing by a substantial margin.
The votes were widely split among the field of the other nine
candidates on the ballot. John Robinson who was removed from office
by the Tribal Council also ran, but trailed in votes.
Fisher who is running on a the issue of reform and improvement
of Tribal programs, notably the Tribal Housing Authority, is
also pushing for accountability of the Tribal Council.
The general election will be held during the first week of October.

A Cheyenne Voice – Aug 23rd


The weekly “Soup Day” hosted by Chief Dull Knife College on August 15th needs to go down in contemporary Cheyenne history.  For the first time in recent memory, Northern Cheyenne language speakers hosted fifteen “cousins” from the Southern Cheyenne Tribe in Oklahoma for a traditional feast (drymeat soup, frybread, juneberry pudding and sweets) and a time of visiting.  The southern delegation came to Northern Cheyenne with a mission: “How can we preserve our language?  In Oklahoma, the spoken Cheyenne language is nearly lost.” Margaret Behan, a Southern Cheyenne who lives at Northern Cheyenne helped coordinate events for the visitors. Ida E. Hoffman, Chief of Staff for the Southern Cheyenne Tribe who coordinated the event, reportied that the Tribal government paid for the Elder Culture trip.  Hoffman and others are developing programs to re-teach the tribal language.

The journey included a stop at Bear Butte, a sacred site to both Tribes; the visit to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation; Crow Fair and other points of interest before the return to Oklahoma. During the luncheon and discussion, many familial ties were noted. Karen Littlecoyote, Southern Cheyenne explained that her brother Perry Little Coyote married into the Northern Cheyenne and lived most of his life in Montana. “I am very proud to be a Cheyenne,” she concluded. Dr. Richard Littlebear and Tribal President Winfield Russell addressed the group, first in the Cheyenne language and then translating to English. Littlebear explained the certification process for Cheyenne language instructors, requiring a rigorous reading and writing exam.

A Cheyenne Voice – August 9th


At the close of business on August 6th, the filing deadline for the Tribal President’s vacancy, nine candidates filed to run for the office of Tribal President. The candidates who will be on the ballot for the Primary election in September include: Stewart Gardner, George Elkshoulder, L. Jace Killsback, R.D. Bailey, Joe Fox, Jr, John Robinson, Georgianne Kellum, George Scalpcane and William Walksalong. The primary election will be held on September 5th.. The two top vote getters will then advance to the general election in October

A Cheyenne Voice – July 26th


The fifth annual Language Immersion Camp took place this week (July 22-26) at Crazy Head Springs. The annual event, sponsored and funded by Chief Dull Knife College provides the opportunity for youth ages 11-17 to engage in activities that promote the Cheyenne language and culture. “During this week, we talk the Cheyenne language, camp together in the old way, share meals, cultural activities and enjoy one another’s company. It’s a wonderful week that we all look forward to,” said VerDa King, organizer and CDKC Cheyenne language instructor.

The camp is provided at no charge to the youth supported by a variety of grants and charitable donations, generated by Dr. Richard Littlebear, Tribal College President. “I don’t know how he does it,” Verna said. “But, he manages to come up with the funding year-after-year.”

“The camp is an essential part of our language retention effort,” Dr. Littlebear remarked. “Engaging our young people in our language and culture is essential.” This year, forty students who are very interested in the Cheyenne language, culture and traditions attended: Kaylee Soldier Wolf; Donnita Scott; Kallie Scott; Shelby King; So’taee’e Tall Bull, Kenyon Russell, Trey A. Wolf Black; Alijah M. Wolf Black, Tamia Rose Two Moons, Cole Two Moons, Deira Elk Shoulder, Elias Elk Shoulder, Manipi Elk Shoulder, Angel Russell, Veronica James Suntaya Clubfoot, Alaina Cree Clubfoot, Kaya Rogers, Christian Middle Rider; Eryn Limberhand, Camron Spotted Elk, Spring Bearcomesout, Mickey J. Selage, Alisha Capitan, Tnaden Whistling Elk, Tanyen Whistling Elk, Isaaiah Capitan, Josiah Soldierwolf, Sheldon King, Summer Longsioux, Araya Beartusk, Ociola Bement, Tatyanna Pine, Tessa James, Jamie Woodenlegs, Cory Clubfott, Jr., and Trent Kaline


A Cheyenne Voice – July 19th


On Monday, July 15th, John Robinson and a small band of about 25 faithful supporters marched from the Tribal Courthouse in Lame Deer to the Tribal Building. The marchers included four key staff members of the Robinson administration who were terminated shortly after the impeachment process; Dezi Rodriquez Small, policy advisor; Edina Redstar, Executive Assistant;  John Youngbear and Lennie Smith of Robinsons newly created media department which  produced the Tribal newspaper. . They protested Robinson’s removal as Tribal President.  In public remarks to the smallcrowd, Robinson denounced the Tribal Council action saying that he would wait for the Solicitor’s review of the impeachment resolution.  He also vowed to challenge the impeachment in the Tribe’s Constitutional Court. However, the Tribal Constitution and the Tribal hearing ordinance both state that the action of the Tribal Council in such matters is final.

Also on Monday, BIA Superintendent Mike Addy provided the Tribal Council with a written memorandum (taped to the Tribal office doors. See page 6) stating that the Bureau of Indian Affairs recognizes Vice-President Winfield Russell as the acting Tribal President. Under long-standing policy, the BIA does not interfere in internal tribal political matters. The Tribal council has set dates for a new election to fill the office of Tribal President.  August 15th is the filing date.  If more than two candidates file, a Primary will be held on September 5th. The top two vote-getters would then advance to a general election on October 8th, 2013.

A Cheyenne Voice – July 12th


On Wednesday, July 10th, the Northern Cheyenne Tribal  Council held a hearing on a complaint against Tribal President John Robinson filed by tribal member Darlene Soldierwolf.

After hearing the evidence, facts and arguments at the formal hearing, the Tribal Council voted. Robinson was impeached by a vote of 9 yeses; 1 no (Council representative Donna Fisher, Ashland) and 1 abstained (Council Representative Tracy Robinson, Ashland District).  The Tribal Council also reinstated Soldierwolf.

Under the Tribal Constitution and the Tribal Hearing Ordinance, such decision cannot be appealed.

“There was no documentation to back up Robinson’s termination of Darlene Soldierwolf nor his allegation that she was guilty of child abuse,” explained Llevando “Cowboy” Fisher, Birney District Council member who made the motion which was seconded by Merlin Sioux, Lame Deer District Tribal Council member.

Under the Tribal Constitution, the Tribal Vice-President, Winfield Russell will serve as Acting President pending an election for a new Tribal President which must be held within ninety days.

A Cheyenne Voice – July 5th

Tester, Baucus push FEMA for immediate disaster assistance to help Montanans recover from flooding Senators back Montana’s request on behalf of 12 counties, three Indian reservations

(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus are calling on FEMA to quickly provide federal disaster assistance to Montanans affected by May and June’s historic flooding.

In calling for prompt action, Tester and Baucus highlighted the severity and widespread nature of the damage caused by the spring storms.  Some areas in central and eastern Montana received up to six times their normal amount of rainfall for the time period.

“This amount of rain has devastated many roads and bridges and has had major impacts on rural populations,” Tester and Baucus wrote FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  “The impacts of this flooding have been devastating and far exceed the ability of our state and local governments to pay for such damages.  Federal resources are urgently needed to help our communities get back on their feet. ”Governor Bullock formally requested federal assistance earlier this week on behalf of 12 Montana counties and three Indian reservations.  The request for public assistance will help local governments recover and rebuild critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and rural water systems.   “Montana families and small businesses cannot afford any unnecessary red tape,” Tester and Baucus wrote.  “We ask that you approve the state of Montana’s request as soon as possible and provide local communities with