For Immediate Release
March 8, 2016
Contact: Hope Stockwell, Research Analyst, 444-9280
State-Tribal Relations Committee Travels to Fort Peck and Rocky Boy's Reservations
The State-Tribal Relations Committee (STRC) is on the road in March, visiting the Fort Peck and Rocky Boy's Reservations as the legislature's liaison with tribal governments.
The STRC meets with the Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board on March 22 in Poplar and the Rocky Boy's Business Committee on March 24 in Box Elder. The purpose of the joint sessions is to learn and talk about issues of mutual concern and those of particular importance to the tribes.
The STRC is also slated to meet with representatives of the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council to learn about their priorities and initiatives, including a new contract to train state and tribal employees on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
The STRC is studying ICWA this interim as part of its work plan. On the afternoon of March 22, the committee is scheduled to hear perspectives on the state's implementation of ICWA from a district court judge, the Department of Justice, and tribal representatives.
During the week, the STRC will also receive updates on suicide prevention, protections for cultural patrimony, Indian language immersion and preservation programs, and the status of and funding for rehabilitation of the St. Mary's Canal and Diversion.
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 is scheduled to meet from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on March 22 in the Fort Peck Community College auditorium in Poplar. The STRC will then travel to and meet in the Northern Winz Casino Bingo Room in Box Elder from 1 to 5 p.m. on March 23 and 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on March 24. A full agenda and meeting materials are available on the committee's website at http://leg.mt.gov/tribal.