For Indian Country, some wins, some losses this session (copy)

Members of Montana’s 2023 American Indian Caucus


The tumultuous 2023 legislative session concluded on Tuesday and several bills that promote progress in Indian Country have advanced through the Legislature.  

In a victory for Montana’s American Indian Caucus, House Bill 317, which would codify parts of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act into state law, passed the House and Senate with some amendments. Notably, the bill includes a termination date of June 2025. A conference committee voted to remove a section in the bill saying that tribes must verify a child’s membership status, and Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, has been outspoken in his opposition to that omission.

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Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, introduces HB 317 to the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee on Wednesday, March, 22. 

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

He said several times that as sovereign nations, tribes determine their own

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