by Native News Network Staff in Native Currents. Discussion »
RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA - Several tribes with large land bases have come together to form the Coalition of Large Tribes(COLT). Included in this initial group of tribes are:
the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation,
the Oglala Sioux Tribe,
the Crow Tribe of Montana,
the Navajo Nation,
the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe,
the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana,
the Rosebud Sioux, and
the Spokane Tribe of Washington.
New members are expected to join the COLT within the next sixty days.
The COLT was formed to address the unique land, economic, jurisdictional and funding issues faced by tribes with large reservations, treaties and large populations.
Large Reservations - Large Populations
“It is a coalition for tribes with issues specific to large land,” said A. Gay Kingman - Wapato, the executive director of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association.
A. Gay Kingman - Wapato
“The Oglala Sioux Tribe has more land than the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined.”
“There is an immediate need to address some budget issues in transportation. Large tribes may have hundreds of miles of roads that need repairs,” continued Kingman-Wapato.
Tex G. Hall
Three Affiliated Tribes
“Large Tribes are also the ones who are most seriously impacted by federal Indian land policies.”
said Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Chairman, Tex Hall, one of the founding members. “We are not trying to downplay the needs of smaller tribes, but we need our voices to be heard and in the past that has simply not happened.”
Navajo Nation - Arizona
“While Treaty tribes with 100,000 acres or more comprise only a small percentage of the federally recognized tribes in the United States, they collectively represent the largest percentage of federally recognized Indian tribal members and Trust land ownership,” stated President John Yellowbird Steele, Oglala Sioux Tribe, one of the largest tribes in the United States.
The Spokane Tribe will host a meeting on April 22 to further plan the development and growth of COLT.
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