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Gianforte Reintroduces Legislation Recognizing Little Shell

January 9, 2019
Press Release
Urges House to Pass Bill Again

Congressman Greg Gianforte reintroduced legislation providing federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Gianforte spoke on the House floor today to introduce the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act and urge lawmakers to pass the bill.

“We take up their worthy cause again today as I reintroduce the bill,” Gianforte said. “I call on this body to consider and pass this bill again. This Congress should provide the Little Shell Tribe with the federal recognition it deserves, particularly after its eight decades of dedicated efforts.”

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“I appreciate Congressman Gianforte’s steadfast determination to see justice served for the Little Shell Tribe. He is a true friend to my people,” said Gerald Gray, Chairman of the Little Shell Tribe. “I am confident that his persistence will result in the long-awaited passage and enactment into law of the Little Shell Restoration Act.”

Gianforte’s bill, H.R. 297, restores the federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe and allows the Tribe to purchase 200 acres of land to serve as its reservation. The legislation makes 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 in the 115th Congress and guided it to passage in the House in September 2018. The legislation’s passage marked the first time a bill restoring federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe passed either the House or Senate.

Despite passing the House, the bill failed to pass in the U.S. Senate.