Indian Affairs

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.

Daines’ Bipartisan Montana Water Rights Protection Act Passes Senate Committee

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today secured passage of his bipartisan bill, the “Montana Water Rights Protection Act,” out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, clearing the way for a Senate vote on the bill. “For decades, the CSKT water dispute has gone unresolved in Montana, leading to uncertainty for thousands of Montanans across our state. That’s why I introduced the bipartisan Montana Water Rights Protection Act which permanently settles the CSKT water dispute, protects the water rights of all Montanans, creates jobs, modernizes critical infrastructure needs in Northwestern Montana, protects Montana agriculture, avoids costly litigation and has the Trump administration’s

Daines Distributes PPE to Crow Tribe, Tours Detention Facility at Crow Agency

CROW AGENCY, MT – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today joined Crow Chairman AJ Not Afraid on the Crow Reservation to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to Crow tribal members.    Following the distribution of PPE, Daines toured a detention facility the Crow tribe is looking to utilize as they continue to lack enough holding space to maintain their policing needs on the reservation.     Background:   Daines is committed to ensuring that Montana tribes have the critical resources they need to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To read about Daines’ COVID-19 related efforts, click HERE.  Daines strongly backs strengthening law

Trump Administration Expresses Support for Daines’ Bipartisan Montana Water Rights Protection Act

U.S. SENATE – At a U.S. Senate Hearing today, the Trump administration expressed support for U.S. Senator Steve Daines’ bipartisan bill, the “Montana Water Rights Protection Act,” which permanently settles the century-long Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) water dispute. At the hearing, Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Tim Petty discussed the benefits of the bill which will create more than 6,000 jobs, modernize critical NW Montana infrastructure, avoid costly litigation, protect the water rights of all Montanans and provide certainty for Montana’s farmers and ranchers. Daines kicked off the hearing by emphasizing why the bill is necessary, how

MT Water Rights Protection Act touted as ‘permanent solution’ to Flathead water dispute

MISSOULA — We’re still short of final action. However, that proposal for a nearly $2 billion plan to settle tribal water rights in the Flathead Basin took a major step forward on Wednesday. Trump Administration officials tell the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee the proposal could avoid decades of litigation and save taxpayers billions of dollars. It was just over a year ago Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced the Montana Water Rights Protection Act, a sweeping bill that aims to resolve decades of dispute over treaty water rights for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. It’s not cheap at $1.9

Daines, Tester Work to Shed a Light on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Crisis

U.S. SENATE –U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester introduced a bipartisan Senate resolution designating May 5th, 2020 as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. “This is about honoring the memories of the young women whose lives were cut short because of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women crisis plaguing our tribal communities,” Daines said. “I will continue working to raise awareness on what is happening in Indian country and fight to put an end to this crisis that has torn apart so many families and caused so much suffering for our native communities.” “Shining

Daines Secures Expanded Telehealth Services for Indian Country During Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. SENATE –U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that the Indian Health Service (IHS) will be expanding telehealth services across IHS federal facilities for tribal members. This follows Daines’ request to President Trump to include funding for IHS, including for telehealth, so that Montana tribes have the same treatment as their non-tribal entities during the Coronavirus pandemic. “Expanding tele-health services in Indian country is critical to getting folks access to care during the Coronavirus pandemic,” Daines said. “This will ensure that our rural tribal members, especially tribal seniors can receive care without the risk of leaving their homes and breaking

Daines Urges President Trump To Expedite Coronavirus Resources for Tribal Communities

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines sent a letter to President Trump yesterday urging that he expedite federal resources for tribal communities during the Coronavirus pandemic. “Implementation of the CARES Act will require many federal agencies within DOI, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Treasury, the Small Business Administration and other to work directly with Indian Country on implementation of complicated new authorities and deployment of critical funding,” Daines wrote. “This can only be accomplished by engaging in meaningful robust, and given the nature of this pandemic crisis—rapid government-to government consultation.” To read the full

Daines Urges Treasury, DOI to Provide Tribal Communities Flexibility with Coronavirus Funding

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today urged U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to provide tribal communities with flexible funding, that Daines secured in the Coronavirus Economic Recovery Package signed into law last week, to protect tribal economies. “Indian country faces among the nation’s most dire of circumstances,” Daines wrote. “As the Administration works to implement the CARES Act, we request that the tribal relief fund be administered in a manner flexible enough to provide tribes with the resources they need to cover the unexpected expenses resulting from dramatic reductions

Daines Secures Critical Funding, Stronger Provisions for Tribal Communities in Coronavirus Economic

U.S. SENATE –U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that he was able to successfully secure stronger provisions and critical funding for tribal communities in the Coronavirus Economic Recovery Package. Earlier this month, Daines urged President Trump to ensure Montana tribal communities have access to federal assistance during coronavirus outbreak. “As the Coronavirus pandemic impacts millions of Americans across the country, we cannot ignore one of our most vulnerable populations, Native Americans,” Daines said. “I am glad President Trump, the administration and Senate Leadership acted on my request for stronger funding for our tribal communities. I look forward to getting our