‘Racism,’ ‘discrimination,’ ‘partisan’: Native lawmakers reflect on session

Members of Montana’s 2023 American Indian Caucus


When people in Crow Agency see Rep. Sharon Stewart Peregoy around town and ask her how the legislative session went, she tells them, “It was terrible.”

“That’s the only way I can respond,” she said.

And she isn’t alone. Other members of Montana’s American Indian Caucus share the sentiment.

Sen. Susan Webber, D-Browning, said the session was “nasty,” describing her experience as a “really difficult and horrible time.” Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, who has served in the Legislature for two decades, described it as “the most hyper-partisan, super hyper-partisan session I’ve ever been in.” Rep. Frank Smith, D-Wolf Point, who said this was his 24th year in politics, said “it was the worst session yet.”

There are 11 Native American state lawmakers in Montana, nine of whom are Democrats. The group, formally known as the American Indian Caucus, is a minority within a minority in Montanan’s Legislature, which boasts a Republican supermajority.

People are also reading…

View Source