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

On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this week, Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte asked yet again for official recognition of the tribe.

“The Little Shell Tribe began petitioning the federal government for recognition back in the 1930’s, over 80 years ago,” said Gianforte. “Last year, the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act passed this chamber unanimously. However, this uncontroversial bill hit a roadblock in the Senate. Today, we again take up their worthy cause as we pass this bill.”

Gianforte appealed to the entire Congress to complete the process as soon as possible.

“This Congress should provide the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians with the federal recognition it deserves,” he said. “Particularly after its eight decades of dedicated efforts. Hopefully, my colleagues in the Senate will recognize the importance of this legislation. I urge a ‘yes’ vote on the bill.”

Federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe will allow 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.