The Blackfeet Tribe has just become aware of a letter sent by the National Congress of American Indians to the offices of various senators supporting the Barrasso amendment No. 4313 to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010. The Blackfeet Tribe is a member of NCAI and yet has not been made privy to such letter.
Please be advised that the Blackfeet Tribe stands 100 percent behind all of the Native American allottees and the Cobell settlement as it now stands. I am very concerned, as a representative member of NCAI, that this organization would press the adoption of an amendment that hurts allottees. What right does NCAI have to support an amendment which goes to the rights of tribes more than to the rights of the individuals in whose name this suit has been instituted and who have stood patiently by for the last 14 years hoping to see that justice is done? How can NCAI make decisions for individual allottees? This present action by NCAI is out of line and not in keeping with the purposes and vision of this organization.
The Blackfeet Tribe strongly supports the Cobell settlement as it now stands and urges the body not to pass any resolution at its upcoming meeting in Rapid City, S.D. that would undermine this settlement. The Blackfeet Tribe wants NCAI to go back to representing the interests of its member tribes and not to interfere in the lives and livelihood of individual Indian people.
Please respond to this letter by writing to me at P.O. Box 850, Browning, MT, 59417 so that I may be assured that NCAI has reconsidered its ill-advised letter supporting the Barrasso amendment.
-Willie A Sharp Jr., chairman
Blackfeet Tribal Business Council