Tester statement on rule affecting Little Shell recognition

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, today released the following statement after the U.S. Interior Department announced it is moving forward on a proposed rule that would streamline the federal government’s process for recognizing Native American tribes, including Montana’s Little Shell Tribe:

“The proposed rule to fix the broken process for tribal recognition is a step in the right direction. Nations like Montana’s Little Shell have waited decades for federal recognition with no end in sight. I will keep working with Secretary Jewell until we give these tribes a fair shot at recognition.”

The Interior Department’s proposed rule could finally grant Montana’s Little Shell Tribe federal recognition.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee last month approved Tester’s bill to federally recognize the Little Shell Tribe. Tester’s bill is co-sponsored by Montana Senator John Walsh.

In 2007, the first bill Tester introduced as a U.S. Senator was to grant the Little Shell tribe federal recognition.