U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today praised the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs’ unanimous passage of his bill to provide long-overdue federal recognition for the Little Shell Tribe.
Daines and U.S. Senator Jon Tester introduced this bill on January 5, 2017.
Daines delivered the following remarks in the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs:
“I’m thrilled the committee is considering the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act here today. While this business meeting marks an exciting occasion, it’s also shadowed by the recent passing of a prominent member of the Little Shell community, Shawn Gilbert. Shawn lost his battle with cancer just last month and would have been proud to see this bill pass the committee this afternoon, especially as someone who served on the tribal council and dreamt of the day his nation, Little Shell Nation, would be formally recognized. I had the honor of meeting Shawn while he was in office and while he lost his fight to cancer, I intend to see to it that he doesn’t lose his fight for his people. I’m glad we’re passing this legislation early on this Congress and remain committed to its enactment into law.”
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Gerald Gray, Little Shell Tribal Chairman: “The tribe is very excited that Senator Daines is continuing this fight and keeping this at the forefront for us.”
Native American tribes must be recognized as sovereign nations by the federal government to exercise full self-governance.
Last Congress, this bill was closer to becoming law than ever before when it passed the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources.