The State-Tribal Relations Committee kicks off its work this interim with a visit to the Blackfeet Reservation in July, coinciding with the Blackfeet Native American Indian Days celebration. The STRC will meet July 9 and 10 at the Glacier Peaks Casino in Browning. Members will elect their leadership, establish their work priorities for the interim, and meet in a joint session with members of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. The STRC will also hold a listening session with Glacier County Commissioners.
Proposed study topics for the STRC include:
- cultural patrimony and sacred objects and sites
- economic impacts and financing of tribal colleges
- law enforcement jurisdictional issues
- St. Mary’s Diversion and Canal
- impacts of public charter schools on reservations
- financial assistance provided to tribes through state agencies
The STRC will decide which of these topics to study and how much time to devote to selected topics.
At its July meeting, the STRC will also receive updates on the following:
- the Indian language preservation program, including a demonstration of the Blackfeet program
- funding for suicide prevention on reservations
- the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs
Senate members of the STRC are Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena; Jennifer Fielder, R-Thompson Falls; Kristin Hansen, R-Havre; and Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder.
House members are Alan Doane, R-Bloomfield; Edward Greef, R-Florence; George Kipp, III, D-Heart Butte; and Zac Perry, D-Hungry Horse.
The STRC meeting is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. on July 9 in the upstairs conference room of the Glacier Peaks Casino in Browning. A full agenda and meeting materials are available on the committee's website at http://leg.mt.gov/tribal.