Northern Cheyenne Tribe celebrates new day labor program
Western Native Voice
On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, along with the Northern Cheyenne Environmental Protection Department, Northern Cheyenne Tribal Rights Office (TERO), People’s Partnership for Community Development (PPCD) and Western Native Voice, celebrated the official launch of the Netamáhemanotséohemane (Let’s All Work Together) program, a community temporary work opportunity program. The program is the only one of its kind inside a Montana tribal nation and will offer temporary employment opportunities to community members who are 14 and older.
The celebration was attended by over 300 people and around 65 program applications were submitted, with many more being taken to family or friends not attendance.
“By starting the community work opportunity program, we want to give residents of the Northern Cheyenne Nation a hand up, instead of a hand out”, said Charlene Waters Alden, Director of the Northern Cheyenne Nation Environmental Protection Department.
Shandi Eaglefeathers, Director of Northern Cheyenne Nation Tribal Rights Office, added, “Tribal Rights Office staff have wished we could get jobs for everyone who comes into our office looking for temporary employment. With the Netamáhemanotséohemane (Let’s All Work Together) Program, many more possibilities for employment will be a reality for our community.”
Waters Alden added, “The younger generation is very excited for the opportunity to work on a day-to-day basis and earn money for school clothes and supplies, help buying food for their families, and other needs.”
The Netamáhemanotséohemane (Let’s All Work Together) program will also include cultural and life skills education for participants to turn temporary work into long term career opportunities.
The program became a reality after Waters Alden approached Western Native Voice, a grassroots organization that builds leadership across Indian Country, about starting a day labor program on the Northern Cheyenne Nation. "Western Native Voice board and staff works to assist local leaders in creating the change they desire for their community. Our mission is to help leaders implement their ideas, goals, strategies and tactics to address community needs, which is how this program came about", said Marci McLean-Pollock, Executive Director of Western Native Voice.
McLean-Pollock added, “We know how to organize and mobilize, and having a community based idea, coupled with our community based organizing strategy, has made the Netamáhemanotséohemane (Let’s All Work Together) program possible. We are excited to employ our organizing skills to help Northern Cheyenne leaders build economic opportunity for community members and create a sustainable community based program along with our partners.”
Western Native Voice is a non-profit, non-partisan social justice organization working to inspire Native leadership through community organizing, education, leadership, and advocacy. With seven percent of Montana’s population being Native American living almost evenly split between tribal nation and urban areas, Western Native Voice organizes in both rural and urban communities using a culturally tailored community organizing and citizen education model to build Native leadership.
Environmental Protection Department, is a program within the Northern Cheyenne tribe aimed at providing an environmental presence on the reservation community. Programs include surface water quality, protection of our Class I air status, Wetlands protection, Brownfield property assessments and cleanups and addressing non point source pollution.
TERO is the Tribal Rights office for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. They work with reservation community members in providing employment opportunities on and in surrounding area. Offering resume and various skills needed to apply for open positions.