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Daines Pushes the Northern Cheyenne Lands Act, Allows Cheyenne More Control Over Their Lands

Photo courtesy of Naccarato/Flickr

Representative Steve Daines’ legislation to provide the Northern Cheyenne Tribe with a resolution to long fought land and mineral resource claims against the United States was approved by the full House Natural Resources Committee Thursday without opposition.

Daines’ bill works to consolidate land into trust in the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, transfer into trust tribally owned sacred lands, and settle claims brought by the tribe against the United States for a breach of trust.

“The Northern Cheyenne Tribe has called the Lame Deer area home for thousands of years, but yet, lack the freedom to control their own future,” Daines said. “The Northern Cheyenne Lands Act is necessary to address these concerns.”

The Northern Cheyenne Lands Act provides long-overdue relief to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe by correcting a federal error that occurred more than 100 years ago. The bill allows the Northern Cheyenne Tribe more control over their lands and mineral resources, strengthening tribal sovereignty and increasing the tribe’s ability to serve their people.

“Simply stated, the Northern Cheyenne Lands Act upholds the federal government’s relationship with the leadership of the Norther Cheyenne Tribe and is critical to providing the tribe the freedom it needs to help resurrect themselves from poverty and improve the future of younger generations,” he said.

The bill also has strong support from Northern Cheyenne leadership.

“Our Tribe has been seeking this kind of greatly-needed relief from Congress for many years, reaching back to my first administration in the early 1990’s and prior to that,” Northern Cheyenne Tribal President Llevando “Cowboy” Fisher said. “This crucial issue is a number one priority of the Tribe, as it involves our Reservation lands and subsurface which we made many historic sacrifices to restore and preserve. If the bill is passed, our control over our Reservation will be solidified and our economic development opportunities will be substantially enhanced.”

The bill will now head to the house floor for a final vote.

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