Walsh, Testers Northern Cheyenne land swap bill passes Indian Affairs Committee
Senators’ bill establishes tribe’s right to 5,000 acres
(U.S. SENATE) – The Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Wednesday passed Senators John Walsh and Jon Tester’s bill to increase economic opportunity on the Northern Cheyenne reservation.
Walsh and Tester’s bill would establish tribal rights to 5,000 subsurface acres of land that were mistakenly not included in the reservation more than a century ago. The subsurface acres contain more than 100 million tons of coal, presenting the tribe with the opportunity to develop these resources.
“This bill will strengthen the Northern Cheyenne economy and sovereignty for generations to come,” Walsh said. “I am committed to working with our sovereign tribal nations to make sure that they receive equitable treatment from the federal government, including establishing their rightful ownership of reservation land.”
“All Americans want the opportunity to decide their economic future, and that’s no different in Indian Country,” said Tester, Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee. “This bill will allow Northern Cheyenne the same opportunity by developing their natural resources, creating jobs and improving their quality of life.”
The Senators’ bill will next be considered by the full Senate.