BILLINGS — Montana’s U.S. senators are calling for formal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Cree by the federal government.
Democrat Sen. Jon Tester and Republican Sen. Steve Daines introduced a bill Tuesday to recognize the landless, 4,500-member tribe as American Indians.
Federal acknowledgement could bring the Little Shell tribe land, housing and education assistance.
The state recognized the Great Falls-centered tribe in 2000. But decades of effort to gain federal recognition have been unsuccessful.
The U.S. Interior Department last year announced that the Little Shell was eligible to be reconsidered for federal tribal recognition. Alternatively, Congress can pass legislation recognizing the tribe.
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