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: MT Tribal Communities Must Have Access to Federal Assistance During Coronavirus Outbreak

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today urged President Trump to ensure Montana tribal communities have access to federal assistance during coronavirus outbreak. Daines has been very engaged and working with the Trump administration and Congress to provide relief and protect Montanans during the Coronavirus outbreak. “As the Federal government goes about this important work, I respectfully urge additional steps to specifically include one of our most vulnerable populations, Native Americans,” Daines wrote. “Every effort should be made to ensure that Tribes carrying federal activities have access to the same coordination, resources, and information as their counterparts within IHS and

Daines Pushes to Expand Access for Coronavirus Testing in Tribal Communities

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today urged Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Azar and the Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Gaynor to ensure Indian Health Service (IHS) has the resources needed to provide coronavirus testing for tribal communities. “I want to ensure IHS has the ability to provide the necessary healthcare to combat this virus as this remains a high priority to the administration and my office,” Daines wrote. “I hope the Department will take swift action to bring test kits and federal resources to Indian Country.” To read the full letter, click HERE. Background: Daines has

Daines Votes for Montana Defense Priorities, Little Shell Recognition in Defense Bill

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today voted for a major defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes a 3.1% pay raise for the military, critical defense priorities for Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls and federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Daines fought to include provisions that will preserve and protect Malmstrom’s mission, while safeguarding national security for generations to come.   “This legislation strengthens Montana’s defense priorities and gives our men and women in uniform a much deserved 3.1% pay raise,” Daines said. “This is about peace through strength. Our nuclear deterrents

Daines, Tester Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Permanently Settle CSKT Water Dispute, Protect Water Rights of All Montanans

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester today introduced the bipartisan Montana Water Rights Protection Act (MWRPA), a new agreement to permanently settle the century-old CSKT water dispute, and protect the water rights of all Montanans. “After years of hard work and negotiations with the Tribe and other stakeholders across Montana, I’m pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation today that will permanently protect the water rights of all Montanans,” Daines said. “This bipartisan bill and settlement is a good-faith compromise that will bring final resolution to a century long water dispute, avoid years of costly litigation, and save taxpayers over $400

Daines Successfully Retains Little Shell Recognition, Montana Defense Priorities in Final NDAA

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that he successfully preserved big wins for Montana in the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) including the federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and critical defense priorities for Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls. Daines fought for years to help get federal recognition for the Little Shell Tribe. Earlier this year, Daines successfully fought to include federal recognition of the Tribe as an amendment in the Senate passed NDAA. Daines then successfully demanded it be included in the final NDAA. “Today is great news for Montana. After

Daines Resolves Century Old Dispute, Proposes New Settlement Framework to Permanently Protect Water Rights for All Montanans

U.S. SENATE – After years of negotiations, U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that he has reached an agreement with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) on a new framework for a permanent water settlement. Daines will introduce the Montana Water Rights Protection Act which permanently eliminates 97% of all CSKT’s water rights claims across Montana, saves taxpayers over $400 million and protects the water rights of all Montanans. “After years of negotiations and hard work, I’m pleased to announce we have reached a new agreement that permanently settles a century old water dispute in Montana and protects the water

HHS Responds to Daines’ Demand to Revoke Government Pension of Convicted Pedophile

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines received a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to the Senator’s call for action to take away convicted pedophile Stanley Patrick Weber’s government pension. “I’m glad to see HHS respond to my demand and take action in finding a way to prevent this convicted pedophile from receiving a dime of his government pension,” Daines said. “This disgusting situation should never have happened in the first place – that’s why I’ve introduced and am fighting for legislation that would prevent future convicted pedophiles from receiving a government pension.” To read the

Daines, Gianforte Fight for Jobs in Indian Country

U.S. CONGRESS – U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte reintroduced legislation to permanently extend the Indian Coal Production Tax Credit (ICPTC). “This is about bringing economic opportunity and jobs to Indian country” Daines said. “This tax credit will create good, high paying jobs, generate vital local tax revenue to support essential services, and promote tribal self-determination and energy independence.” “The Indian Coal Production Tax Credit benefits the Crow Tribe, its members, and the people of Montana,” said Gianforte. “I am proud to introduce legislation to permanently extend the tax credit, support tribal development, and help strengthen Montana’s economy with

Senate Approves Federal Recognition of Little Shell Tribe After Years-Long Push by Daines & Tester

(U.S. Senate) – The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians is one step closer to achieving federal recognition today, thanks to a legislative push by U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester. The Senators’ legislation passed today as a Daines amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act—the Senate’s must-pass annual defense bill. “Today is a historic day for Montana’s Little Shell Tribe,” Daines said. “For the first time in history, our bill to federally recognize the Tribe passed the Senate. This is a major milestone for the Little Shell Tribe, and I’ll continue pushing until we get this done once