Indigenous people from across Montana launch “Native Americans for Bullock”

Pictured: Governor of Montana, Steve Bullock.(Photo: Steve Bullock)

Press Pool

Group consists of Indigenous people representing all Montana’s eight federally recognized Tribal Nations and urban communities

News Release

Office of Montana Governor Steve Bullock

On September 25th, Native Americans from across Montana announced their support for Governor Bullock’s campaign for Senate and launched “Native Americans for Bullock.” The group consists of Indigenous people representing all eight of Montana’s federally recognized Tribal Nations and urban Montana communities who back Bullock and will work to educate their local communities on the Governor’s strong record of standing with Native Americans. 

“Native Americans for Bullock” logo
“Native Americans for Bullock” logo(Image: Bullock U.S. Senate 2020)

Throughout his time in office, Governor Bullock worked in consultation with Native leaders and legislators to stand up for what’s right for the Indigenous people of Montana. When Governor Bullock expanded Medicaid, he brought affordable, accessible healthcare to more than 15,000 Native Americans across tribal and urban communities. Governor Bullock personally visited community testing events at all seven reservation communities in the spring and has continued to work hand in hand with Tribal leaders to ensure they have the resources they need during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in early September, Bullock visited with members of the Little Shell tribe. 

Every year, Governor Bullock hosts a Tribal Leaders summit to listen to the concerns of Native Americans, tribal leaders, elected officials, and staff and work together to find real solutions. Governor Bullock has worked alongside Native legislators and leaders in Montana to invest in tribal colleges, secure millions in funding to help Native Americans start their own businesses, fund Native language preservation, fight the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and create the first tribal college apprenticeship program in the nation. 

In the Senate, Governor Bullock will make sure the federal government upholds its commitment to tribal sovereignty and will continue to work in consultation with Native people to tackle the challenges facing Indian Country. Governor Bullock will bring Republicans and Democrats together to secure full funding of the Indian Health Service and make real investments in mental health services, suicide prevention efforts, and substance use treatment. He will work to increase access to a quality education by pushing for full funding of Impact Aid and culturally sensitive and trauma-informed wraparound services, as well as increasing support for tribal colleges. 

Bullock will also work to create more jobs for Native people through empowering tribes to work in partnership with the National Park Service in managing public lands. Governor Bullock will push to improve the response to incidents of missing and murdered Indigenous women at the federal level, and improve cooperation and coordination between tribal and federal response agencies. Governor Bullock will work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to improve the process of law enforcement and help keep tribal communities safe. Bullock will also be a strong voice for the needs of Indigenous people who live in Montana’s urban communities. 

“Governor Bullock has been a true friend to Montana’s Tribal Nations throughout his years in public service,” said Mia Nepoose, member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe at Rocky Boy. “Far too often, the priorities and needs of Indigenous people are not considered in the policy making process. But Governor Bullock has made sure that Native voices are heard and prioritized every step of the way throughout his tenure. I know that he will continue to do so when he gets to the Senate.” 

“Indigenous people deserve access to quality, affordable healthcare just like any other community,” said Anna Whiting Sorrell, member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). “By expanding Medicaid twice and bringing coverage to thousands of Native Americans across Montana, Governor Bullock has consistently shown that he’s willing to stand up and prioritize our health care. I know that he will continue to put the healthcare needs of tribal communities first and be a strong voice for Native Americans in Washington, D.C.” 

“Throughout his time in office, Governor Bullock has recognized the service and sacrifice Native Veterans have made to our country, and has worked hard to make sure they have the support they need when returning from military service,” said Joey Little Bird, member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. “From working with Montana’s tribal colleges to create the first ever tribal college apprenticeship program in the country, to making sure any career training that veterans received while serving transfers back to the private sector, Bullock has worked hard to make it easier for Indigenous people and Native Veterans across Montana to pursue their desired career without having to worry about how they’d support themselves. That strong work will continue in Washington.”

“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Montana, Governor Bullock made sure that Native communities weren’t left behind,” said Cedric Black Eagle, member of the Crow Tribal Council. “He worked hand-in-hand with tribal leaders to make sure our community had the testing resources and support we needed to protect those who are especially vulnerable to the virus, preserving our cultural heritage in the process. I want a senator with a strong record of collaboration with Native leaders to protect and preserve our way of life. Governor Bullock will be that senator. ” 

“Governor Bullock knows just how critical it is that tribal economies and Native-run small businesses like mine are supported,” said Loren BirdRattler, member of the Blackfeet Tribe. “His strong work with Native entrepreneurs and grant and loan support for Native-owned businesses has made a real difference in our community. Governor Bullock will take what he learned from his time as Governor and be a strong advocate for Native-owned small businesses in the Senate.”

“When Governor Bullock signed legislation to bring the Tribal Flags Plaza to life, he did so to honor the contributions, accomplishments, and sacrifices of all eight of Montana’s federally recognized tribes,” said Glen Gopher, member of the Little Shell Tribe. “Governor Bullock understands the important role Native Americans have played in our state’s history, and he has spent his years in office working alongside Native legislators and leaders to preserve that history. His steadfast support of tribal communities makes him the best person to represent Native interests in the Senate.” 

“Representation and the inclusion of Native voices in governance is critical,” said Grant Stafne, member of the Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes at Fort Peck. “Governor Bullock made it one of his priorities while in office to bring Native voices to the table, by appointing nearly 250 Native Americans to state boards and commissions across Montana. He has demonstrated his willingness to include the experience of Indigenous peoples throughout his governing process, and proven himself to be a strong ally and friend to the Fort Peck tribal community. I have absolute faith that when he reaches the Senate, he will continue to raise his voice on behalf of Montana’s Tribal Nations.”

“Governor Bullock has a strong, bipartisan record of making real change for Montana’s tribal nations,” said Briana Lamb, member of the Aaniiih Tribe at Fort Belknap. “He’s used that ability to bring people together, and worked with Native leaders and legislators to combat critical issues like the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic. Native Americans deserve a leader in the Senate who can and will work across the aisle to solve problems that tribal communities face. I believe that Governor Bullock is the person for the job.”

Bullock U.S. Senate 2020 - logo resized
(Image: Bullock U.S. Senate 2020)
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