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Gianforte Guides Little Shell Recognition Bill Through House

September 12, 2018
Press Release
First Time the Bill Has Passed the House or Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed Congressman Greg Gianforte’s bill to provide federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Today’s action in the House marks the first time ever a bill restoring federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe has passed either the House or Senate.

“The Little Shell Tribe has had to wait too long for the federal government to act toward its well-deserved recognition,” Gianforte said. “I appreciate the hard work, dedication, and determination of Chairman Gray and the Little Shell people. Today marks an important milestone for the Tribe, and I am proud that I could help move their efforts forward. It’s time to get this bill through the Senate and to President Trump.”

The Little Shell Tribe welcomed the bill’s passage and praised Gianforte’s efforts.

“Congressman Gianforte has been a friend and advocate of the Little Shell Tribe ever since he assumed office. I want to personally thank Congressman Gianforte for his tireless and relentless efforts on our behalf,” said Gerald Gray, Chairman of the Little Shell Tribe. “The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act was one of the first bills that he introduced, and he has fought vigorously for its passage.”

“Today he accomplished something that never has been accomplished before – passage of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act,” Chairman Gray remarked. This bill will help restore the dignity of my Tribe and force the federal government to stop ignoring us.  We now look to the Senate to continue on the Congressman’s great work to secure passage by that chamber.”

Gianforte’s bill would restore the federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe and allow the Tribe to purchase 200 acres of land to serve as its reservation. The legislation would make the Little Shell Tribe eligible for federal resources for economic development, health, and education.

The Little Shell Tribe petitioned the federal government in the 1930s and 1940s for a formal reservation and to be allowed to organize under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.

Gianforte introduced the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act, H.R. 3764, in September 2017. The bill passed the House Committee on Natural Resources in July 2018.

To be enacted into law, the Senate must pass the legislation and send it to the president for consideration.