As a member of the Indian Affairs Committee, I’m working to promote economic growth in Indian Country and promote the sovereignty and self-determination of our tribes. Montana is home to seven federally recognized Indian reservations and the state recognized Little Shell Tribe, each of which holds a special role in the formation and character of our great state.
Unfortunately, some Native Americans continue to struggle economically and find it difficult to access quality health care and education. Native tribes also continue to face challenges in addressing violent crime on their reservations. I will continue working to expand economic opportunities for tribes and all Montanans through the responsible development of our natural resources and empowering our tribes to fulfill tribal needs.
U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today helped introduce the “Restoring Accountability in the Indian Health Service Act” to address persistent failures and increase accountability at the Indian Health Service (IHS). Consistent shortcomings, unmet staffing needs, lack of oversight and longstanding deficiencies at the IHS have resulted in significant gaps in Montana tribal citizens accessing high-quality care. The bill helpsaddress the many issues recipients of IHS care face by improving patient access to safe and reliable health services. “For too long the IHS has failed to provide Montanans with reliable, quality care. It’s time we enact serious reform and hold IHS accountable in order for tribal leaders,
Final Oil and Gas Lease in Badger-Two Medicine Area Relinquished U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today issued the following statement after the U.S. Departments of the Interior (DOI) and Agriculture (USDA) announced that the final federal oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area will be relinquished in order to ensure the natural and cultural resources of the Blackfeet Nation are protected. “I’m glad to see a solution that all parties were able to agree on to ensure this land that holds such significant cultural and spiritual importance to the Blackfeet Nation is protected. Decades in the making, this agreement will help generations to come
Daines Talks Montana Ag, Forestry, Tribal Priorities for Farm Bill at Indian Affairs Committee Hearing
Welcomes witness from MT association to discuss Tribal access to ag programs U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing discussed Tribal priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill, including the Good Neighbor Authority to promote Tribal involvement in forest management and Tribal access to ag programs. Abi Fain, Director of Policy and Government Relations with the Intertribal Agriculture Council headquartered in Billings, spoke before the Committee. Watch and download Daines’ opening remarks HERE. “As the Senate crafts the Farm Bill, it’s important to ensure that Montana tribal ag producers and their voices are heard so that the next farm bill works
Daines Touts Bipartisan Fort Belknap Water Rights Settlement as a Win-Win-Win for Montana at Senate Hearing
U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing highlighted the importance of finalizing Montana’s last Indian water rights settlement with his bipartisan “Fort Belknap Water Rights Settlement Act.” Daines: Today is historic, it really is. I sometimes wondered if we’d ever get to this point, to have this kind of hearing. When I was first elected to the House 2012 over a decade ago, this is one of the first issues I heard about. I heard about it from the Tribe. I heard about it from the county commissioners, Phillips County, Blaine County. Both sides wanted to set me straight on their strong
U.S. SENATE—U.S. Senator Steve Daines today at a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs oversight hearing questioned witnesses on important issues facing Montana tribes, including public safety, tribal sovereignty, water settlements, forest management and agriculture. Daines highlighted the importance of helping Montana tribes maintain their own law enforcement instead of relying on Washington, D.C. for solutions. Daines on the Need to Give Tribes More Control Over Their Law Enforcement “Public safety has been a top priority of mine for years and yet I continue to hear the same concerns from our tribes. I’ve written countless letters and nothing changes. The BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) expects us to just provide them more funding and the
U.S. SENATE – Today, U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester led a bipartisan group of colleagues in designating the week beginning February 5th as “National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week” to highlight the importance of higher education in Indian Country. “Montana’s Tribal Colleges support, inspire and cultivate the next generation of Montana’s leaders. Just like the Tribes themselves, Tribal Colleges are an integral part of our Montana way of life. I am glad to recognize the work they do to serve Montana students,” said Daines. “Montana’s Tribal Colleges and Universities provide a top-notch education to Montana’s students and prepare them to make a
U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today lauded the passage of bipartisan legislation to protect and return sacred tribal objects. “Montana tribes add so much to our communities and Montana way of life – I am glad to help take this important step to protect their cultural heritage,” Daines said. Daines cosponsored the “Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act of 2021” (STOP Act) with Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). The
Daines, Tester Recognize National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester marked the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls after introducing their resolution designating May 5th earlier this week. “While we must continue to shed light on the tragic Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis that is plaguing Montana, our native communities and families, we must also continue working to find solutions,” Daines said. “Let us remember the countless lives lost due to this crisis, including Hanna Harris, who would’ve been 30 years old today.” “Raising awareness about the MMIW epidemic in Montana and across the country is
U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines is calling for the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to provide more information on the purpose and scope of what they are considering on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (CMR) and to hold a more transparent deliberation process that guarantees any proposal on the reintroduction of bison in the CMR has State, local, and tribal support. Daines’ request comes after emails became public showing activists are lobbying the Biden administration to move forward “without Montana’s permission” and concerns from local stakeholders about the public input process