Wolf Point Herald

Veterans Memorial Site Dedicated

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World War II veteran Joe Carson (center) of Fort Peck and formerly of Wolf Point and Fort Peck Mayor John Jones (second from left) along with a military honor guard lay the wreath at the future site of the Northeast Montana Veterans Memorial in Fort Peck Monday, May 26.    (Photos by John Plestina)

 

A Marine Corps honor guard presents the colors at the beginning of the dedication ceremony.

 

Former Navy Seal Team 6 member and one of the most highly-decorated combat veterans of our time, Montanan Robert O’Neill delivers the keynote address.

 

Maj. Gen. Matthew Quinn, adjutant general for Montana, delivers his address.



American veterans who paid the supreme price for freedom were honored on Memorial Day and the future site of the Northeast Montana Veterans Memorial in Fort Peck was dedicated Monday, May 26.
The nine-county project includes Roosevelt, Valley, McCone, Daniels, Richland, Dawson, Sheridan, Phillips and Garfield counties. It’s mission is the planning, funding, construction and maintenance of a permanent memorial to the service and sacrifice of all military veterans, particularly those from Northeast Montana.
Nearly 1,000 people attended a Memorial Day service with several speakers in the Fort Peck Theater followed by the dedication of the future site of the memorial with a wreath laid by World War II veteran Joe Carson, who is from Wolf Point and now of Fort Peck, and Fort Peck Mayor John Jones with a military honor guard.
The group that is raising money for the memorial hopes to have it completed in about a year.
Former Gov. Marc Racicot served as emcee for the event.
The keynote speaker was Robert O’Neill, of Butte, a former member of Navy Seal Team 6 and one of the most highly-decorated combat veterans of our time. He speaks throughout the United States.
He deployed more than a dozen times and held combat leadership roles in more than 400 combat missions.
O’Neill has been decorated more than 52 times with honors, including two Silver Stars, the military’s third highest honor, four Bronze Stars with Valor, a Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor, three Presidential Unit citations, and two Navy/Marine Corps Commendations with Valor.
O’Neill, whose military career was shrouded in a classified cloak, said he was the man on the ground we have never heard of but know existed. Much of what he did was classified.
Seal Team 6 killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011. It is not known if O’Neill participated in that operation.
He did play a role in the rescue of the crew of the Maersk Alabama, a cargo ship that Somali pirates hijacked in April 2009. It was the first successful seizure of an American ship since the 1800s. The incident was chronicled in a 2010 book that inspired the 2013 film Captain Phillips.
As a member of Seal Team 6 stationed in Virginia, O’Neill was deployed when the Maersk Alabama was hijacked.
“The hardest part (of being deployed to a dangerous situation) is kissing your child goodbye,” O’Neill said of telling his then 9-year-old daughter goodbye before leaving for the coast of Somalia a little over five years ago. He said he knew it could be the last time he would speak to her.
O’Neill also related a story of stopping at a 7-Eleven store on his way from his home to a base for his deployment and a man ahead of him in line was purchasing a copy of USA Today with the story of the pirate hijacking on the front page. The man said, “I wish somebody would do something about this.”
It was one of many times O’Neill had to keep his mouth shut. Days later he and other members of his Seal team rescued Capt. Richard Phillips and the crew of the U.S. merchant ship.
O’Neill talked about fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and losing friends who gave their lives.
He reminded the audience that soldiers have given us all our freedoms.
“When you’re cooking hamburgers. When you’re out on your boat, cracking a beer, think of them,” O’Neill said. “It’s who we are. Every day is Memorial Day.”
When O’Neill was 19 years old, he visited the recruiting office in Butte, asking for the Marine Corps recruiter, who was not in the office. He wanted to become a Marine sniper. A Navy recruiter convinced him that he could be a sniper in the Navy.
“The easiest way to get out of Butte, Mt., was to join the military,” O’Neill said.
He said he learned during his Seal training never to quit, no matter what.
O’Neill was one of just 33 members of a Seal training class with 180 members who were assigned to Seal teams.
Maj. Gen. Matthew Quinn, adjutant general for Montana, also spoke.
“It is a time when we commemorate the service of the men and women who have served our country,” Quinn said.
He recognized the service of the 163rd Infantry Regiment of the Montana National Guard that was deployed as far back as the Spanish American War in 1898, served in both world wars and as recently as 2010 in Iraq.
“These are our men and women of the Montana National Guard,” Quinn said.
He reminded people to remember the warriors who fell in the service to our country.
“Their families changed forever,” Quinn said.
“Let us pause to remember those who paved freedom’s path,” he said.
Tom Brokaw, anchor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 until 2004, was invited to speak but was unable due to health reasons. The 74-year-old South Dakota native and longtime part-time western Montana resident is battling bone cancer and cannot travel.
Brokaw’s 1998 book, The Greatest Generation, honoring veterans of World War II, was a best-seller.
Billings attorney Cliff Edwards, a longtime friend of Brokaw, read his remarks.
“This is an honor, not only for northeast Montana, but for all of Montana,” he said.
“When I told Tom about this project, he was excited to come,” Edwards said
Brokaw dedicated veterans memorials in Washington, D.C., and New Orleans, La.
“[Brokaw] said if this was next year, he would come — and he might come anyway,” Edwards said.
The Montana Congressional delegation was invited but none attended. Racicot read statements in support of the memorial from Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Sen. John Tester, D-Mont.

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Cue The Pomp and Circumstance -- A Tip Of The Mortarboard To All Wolf Point Graduates

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Sarah Hafner was named valedictorian delivers her message during graduation exercises.  (Photos by John Plestina)

 

Salutatorian Gabrielle Wozniak.

 

Wolf Point graduate Dylan Warmbrod turns his tassel moments after receiving his diploma.

 

The Junior/Senior High School Band performs the processional at the beginning of the Wolf Point High School commencement.

 

Wolf Point High School's newly minted 2014 graduates celebrate at the end of the commencement exercises.



Not every high school grad gets the honor of being the valedictorian and salutatorian at their graduation. Two of the 40 Wolf Point High School seniors who marched in caps and gowns received that honor at the 2014 commencement Sunday, May 25.
Sarah Hafner was named valedictorian, the honor bestowed for the highest academic achievement in a graduating class. She gave what is called the valedictory at some schools; the valedictorian address or farewell statement for her class.
Hafner, the daughter of Bill and Shelly Zahradka, will attend Montana State University at Billings and study pre-nursing.
She reflected on the last year of school, including playing on the Lady Wolves basketball team.
Hafner told the underclassmen to enjoy high school while they can. She also called the senior year experience a roller coaster.
“The roller coaster has stopped and we’re giving our seats to the next in line,” Hafner said.
“High school also gave me an opportunity to learn what being on a team is like,” she said.
The next most prestigious honor went to salutatorian Gabrielle Wozniak, the daughter of Jeff and Loretta Wozniak.
She will attend MSU Bozeman and study mechanical engineering.
Wozniak reminded the 39 other graduates that they were experiencing their last day together as a class.
“We all have our idea of what life after high school will be like,” she said.
“We’re entering the great unknown of adulthood,” Wozniak said.
Cole Grimsrud talked about climbing up when he gave the first honor student address.
He will attend Fort Peck Community College and study welding.
“At some point, everyone will hit rock bottom,” Grimsrud said.
“Look up and pray. That is my challenge to you, Class of 2014, look up,” he said.
Class president Steven Remington also gave an honor student address.
He will attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., and study aerospace engineering.
Remington chose humor for his address, using one-liners that included, “The rock of gi-gall-blader,” in place of the Rock of Gibraltar.
“And finally, I’d like to thank the sidewalks for keeping me off the streets,” he said.
The junior/senior high school band performed the processional and recessional.
The WPHS Choir performed 21 Guns and Born To Be Somebody.
The Native American drum and song group Soldier Hill performed the honor song.
The class motto was: “And in the end, it’s not years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years,” a quote from Abraham Lincoln.
Alstroemeria was the class flower.
The graduates are Sonica Archdale, John Benavente, Cole Black Hoop, Mariah Dionne, Llewellyn  Eagle Jr., T’Elle Evans, Kymree Flynn, Robert Galaviz, Duane Good Track, Cole Grimsrud, Sarah Hafner, Lucas Hamilton, John Hawk, Lillian Hollow Horn, David Hopson, Devon Hughes-Munden, Tiffanie Irizarry, MyLissa Jackson, Matthew Keiser, Santana Ledeau, Casee Lepper, Maestro Martinez, Damica McConnell, Dougal McMorris, Paul Nygaard, Nathaniel Paine, Marqueese Porras, Garrett Pronto, Steven Remington, Alissa Smith, Tiffany Szymanski, Tukker Toavs, Carry Vandall, RaShane Walking Eagle, Dylan Warmbrod, Trenton Wemmer, Holland West, Kailey Williamson, Gabrielle Wozniak and Dre’An YellowRobe.
WPHS counselor Keri Sansaver announced awards and scholarships, which totaled $295,000, $91,000 from local businesses, organizations and individuals.
She called 15 graduates to the podium. All qualified as juniors for the one-time $1,500 Montana GEAR Up Achievement Grant. They were Archdale, Evans, Flynn, Grimsrud, Hafner, Hughes-Munden, Jackson, Keiser, Lepper, McConnell, Paine, Remington, Smith, Yellowrobe and Vandall.
Seven of those students — Archdale, Evans, Flynn, Lepper, Remington, Smith and Vandall — were awarded the esteemed $22,580 GEAR Up Pathways Scholarship.
Presidential Awards for Academic Excellence went to Evans, Hafner, Hopson, Remington, Smith, Vandall and Wozniak. A 3.5 minimum cumulative grade point average throughout high school and a score in the 85th percentile on a standardized test are required.
All 40 graduates received the Fort Peck Community College Scholarship, a tuition waiver and scholarship worth $1,680. The total was $67,200.
Montana Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Cody Lentz presented a plaque and National Guard scholarship opportunities worth a maximum of $37,000 over four years to Archdale.
Neil Taylor, Fort Peck Tribes education director, presented Fort Peck Tribal Education Department Incentive Awards to tribal members.
The John Kuehne Memorial National Honor Society Scholarship went to Archdale, Evans, Flynn, Grinsrud, Hafner, Hopson, Keiser, Lepper, Remington, Smith, Toavs, Vandall and Wozniak.
Other scholarships included: Evans, Black Hills State University Buzz Bonus Scholarship, Farmers Union Lumber Scholarship, Froid Scholarship, WPHS Booster Club Scholarship, Wolf Point Invitational Scholarship, Wolf Point Lions Club Scholarship; Flynn, Immaculate Conception Church Council of Catholic Women Scholarship; Grimsrud, Montana University System Governor’s Scholarship, Wolf Point Education Association/Jeans Fund Scholarship, Wolf Point Lions Club Scholarship; Hafner, First Annual Amanda Hardy Scholarship, Hole Nursing Endowed Scholarship, MSU Billings Promise Scholarship, Montana University System Honors Scholarship, Robert and Elsie Penner Memorial Scholarship, Western Bank Valedictorian Scholarship, Wolf Point Elks Local and State Scholarships; Lepper, Norval Electric Cooperative Scholarship; Paine, Agland Cooperative Scholarship, First Lutheran Church Kent Johnson Memorial and Melvin Thompson Scholarship, Sheridan Electric Scholarship; WPHS Booster Club Scholarship, Wolf Point Optimist Scholarship, Wolf Point Rods and Rides Scholarship; Remington, Embry Riddle Chancellor’s Scholarship; Smith, Student Assistance Foundation College Goal Montana Scholarship; Toavs, Dickinson State Blue Hawk Athletic Scholarship, Immaculate Conception Church Knights of Columbus Scholarship, Wolf Point Invitational Scholarship, Wolf Point Walleyes Unlimited Scholarship; Wozniak, First Community Bank Salutatorian Scholarship, MSU Premier Scholarship.
Hafner, McMorris and Remington received the ACT Outstanding Academic Performance Certificate from the Montana Office of Public Instruction for earning a composite score of 27 or higher on the ACT (American College test).

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Funding Justice: Roosevelt County Turns To Voters June 3 To Replace Its Aging Jail

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Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office detention officer Brian Nelson points to a metal wall inside the “bullpen,” a section of the jail with metal passageways that surround the cells. It is part of the World War I era Navy shipboard brig inside the jail.  (Photo by John Plestina)

 

The end is in sight for the antiquated Roosevelt County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office, which is asking voters for the funding to replace it.
If voters don’t approve a public safety bonding measure on the primary election ballot Tuesday, June 3, the county could be forced to close the more than four-decade-old lockup and the cost to the taxpayers could be substantially higher than a mill levy increase that would be necessary to fund construction and operational costs.
If the bonding measure passes, the costs to taxpayers for construction-related costs would be $46.06 per year for residential properties valued at $100,000 and $11.18 annually for operational expenses. The jail staff would increase from eight to 14.
The bonding measure asks voters to authorize the commissioners to issue and sell $11.86 million in general obligation bonds to be repaid within 20 years with an estimated annual fixed interest rate of 10 percent.
The Montana Code allows Roosevelt County to borrow a maximum of a little more than $17 million. Roosevelt County is currently debt free.
 “It’s something I feel we have to do. There’s no question about it,” Roosevelt County Commissioner Gary Macdonald said after the commissioners adopted a resolution Thursday, Feb. 27, that included language limiting the amount of the indebtedness to a maximum of 2.5 percent of the total assessed value of taxable property in the county.
The proposal is to remodel the existing sheriff’s office and jail facility behind the Roosevelt County Courthouse with an addition, a less expensive option than building a completely new facility at a different site because it would reduce construction expenses and eliminate site acquisition costs. It would also retain the jail in close proximity to courtrooms, minimizing transportation costs.
The addition would provide a 60-bed jail that would be compliant with all standards.
The bonding includes the costs of designing, building, equipping and furnishing the jail and office space for the sheriff’s office that would be included. The proposed facility would include an “eyes-on” master control center, booking area, medical isolation area and several Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant cells. An E-911 communications center would be included in the facility.
The larger jail could generate revenue by accepting inmates from other counties and would be large enough to handle a much higher volume of local offenders as increases in crime are projected.
The current 17-bed jail has a rated jail capacity, per state standards, of only 11 beds. The jail averaged 15 inmates per day in 2012, with occasional peaks as high as 20. Nineteen were housed Friday, May 23. Fifteen were male and four female. Three were Native Americans. Most natives are sent to the Fort Peck Tribes jail in Poplar unless they committed a crime off the reservation.
Detention Officer Brian Nelson said most of the people lodged in the jail Friday, May 23 had previously served in prison.
As many as three people occupied some cells that have a capacity of two.
“We’re always at capacity. We get one. We lose one,” Undersheriff John Summers said and added that if the county doesn’t build a new jail, and crime continues to rise, an increasing number of inmates could be sent to other counties at local expense.
“The only way we get rid of some of them is when they get sentenced,” Summers said.
There have been increasing occurrences of county deputies, Wolf Point city officers and Montana Highway Patrol troopers releasing offenders with citations because the jail has been full.
The Valley County Jail in Glasgow is at capacity most days because Valley County has accepted inmates from Custer County. That county had to close its jail because it did not comply with standards.
Options remaining for Roosevelt County inmates, if they have to be sent to other counties include jails as far away as Great Falls, Summers said.
The logic for Roosevelt County building a new jail is compelling: It doesn’t have much choice. That’s because the current overcrowded 17-bed lockup is in disrepair after 42 years and is said by local officials to be an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit waiting to happen.
Some renovations were done at the Roosevelt County Jail last year so that the jail could remain open.
County officials have expressed concerns that the jail cannot meet current standards for Montana jails, cannot comply with requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act, has inadequate space for drug counseling and inmates who are on the sex offender registry.
The county has cited that the current jail was not designed for higher security risks jail officers now face, an increasing presence of out-of-state offenders, with at times as many as 90 percent awaiting trial on felony charges. Concerns have been raised that it has become difficult to separate non-violent offenders from violent felons. The county reports a more aggressive jail population than a few years ago.
Metal cells and walls in corridors between the aging jail’s cellblocks resemble passageways of a surplus ship scrapped long ago.
Jail Administrator Melvin Clark said the jail was built in 1972 with the metal cells that were moved from the former jail, built during the 1940s, and located in the current courthouse parking lot.
The 109-year-old metal cells were originally a World War I era shipboard Navy brig.
The need for a larger facility with enhanced security is increasing every year.
A Montana Board of Crime Control study for Roosevelt, Daniels, Richland and Sheridan counties, labeled by MBCC as the primary Bakken Oilfield region of Montana, shows an increase in criminal offences between 2008 and 2012 of 218 percent and an increase in arrests for the same period of 173 percent. Roosevelt County arrests rose 187 percent during the same period, the per capita crime rate for the four-year period went from 25 percent below the state average to 56 percent above and reported the highest percentage of increased crime in the region with 48.5 percent.
The MBCC study also projects a population increase for Roosevelt County of between 11 and 40 percent during the next 15 years.
A high bar for passage of the bonding measure concerns county officials. One fear is a possible low voter turnout with this year not being a presidential election year. If between 35 and 40 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, which is a possible scenario, a 60 percent supermajority would be required for passage. If 40 percent or more vote, only 51-percent approval would be adequate. If the voter turnout is below 35 percent, the measure automatically fails, regardless how high the percentage of affirmative votes might be.
“The downfall is going to be right here (Wolf Point). To get the voters out. Wolf Point is the biggest voting district,” Macdonald said.
He said if voters do not approve the measure, the county might have to close the jail, forcing the Sheriff’s Office to farm out all inmates to other counties at costs of $50 or more per person per bed plus transportation costs. Currently, with crowded conditions, some inmates are transported to Glasgow (if a bed is available) or Sidney.
If voters approve the bonding measure, the county hopes to begin the design phase in July, with construction starting during late spring or early summer of 2015. If those timelines are met, the addition could be opened by late 2016 with remodeling completed by early 2017.
The county commissioners have held informational public meetings in Wolf Point and Poplar and scheduled two more informational public meetings in Bainville and Culbertson, Wednesday, May 28, after press time.

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County, School District Forced To Pay $68,793 Each To ACLU

A U.S. District Court judge has ordered Roose-velt County and the Wolf Point High School District to pay $68,793 each to the American Civil Liberties Union for court fees and costs in the settlement of the lawsuit that redistricts the board of school trustees.
It stems from a consent decree approved by a federal magistrate in April, after the ACLU filed a motion for summary judgment that mandates the Wolf Point High School District to reduce the number of school board members to six, creating five districts with nearly the same number of residents and one at-large position.
It came about as a result of a lawsuit the ACLU filed in August 2013 on grounds that voting districts used to elect trustees were apportioned in violation of one person, one vote. The ACLU argued that school district elections favored white voters in the district with a majority of Native American enrollments.
The ACLU represented plaintiffs Ronald Jackson, Ruth Jackson, Robert Manning, Patricia McGeshick, Lawrence Wetsit, Bill Whitehead and Lanette M. Clark.
The Fort Peck Tribes was not a plaintiff in the suit.
The county and school district also have to pay fees and costs associated with the defense.
The board of county commissioners voted to authorize payment of the county’s portion from the general fund.
“Where we find the money is where we’re going to take the funds out of. We’ll pay it,” commissioner Gary Macdonald said.
“That’s the sad part of it. I think it could have been solved in this office. We could have brought the school board in,” he said.
“The county superintendent [Pat Stennes] doesn’t have anything close to that in her budget,” Commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard said.
“This settlement could have funded the preschool,” he said.
“The plaintiffs never approached any individual,” Nygaard said.
He said the children in the community are the ones hurt by the lawsuit.
“That $137,587 [total owed by the county and school district] does go to the ACLU. It does not go to the plaintiffs,” Nygaard said.
Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen said the funds will go into an ACLU trust fund.
He said he wanted to clarify a misconception some people have that the case was decided on the voting rights act. Rather, Knudsen said, the case was decided on the equal protection act, which is one person, one vote.

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Daines Meets With Tribe; Addresses Education, Law Enforcement

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Rep. Steve Daines (right) met with Fort Peck Tribes chairman A.T. Stafne during a recent visit to the area.  (Photos by John Plestina)

 

Rep. Steve Daines (right) meets with Fort Peck Community College president Haven Gourneau. 

 

The resounding message members of the Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board sent to Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., during a visit to the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes offices in Poplar Friday, May 16, was that the needs of Native Americans are not heard in Washington.
Daines was the first Republican to visit the Tribal Executive Board in many years.
In response to comments that Indian Country has little voice in Congress, Daines said there are few Native Americans that have been elected to Congress. Two, he said, are from Oklahoma.
“That’s not enough of a voice for Indian Country in Washington,” Daines said.
Board member Garrett Big Leggins wanted to know what Daines would do to achieve the goals of the tribes.
“Why can’t the Republicans get the message. The Democrats are hearing it,” Big Leggins said.
Daines, who currently holds Montana’s one at-large congressional seat, said he didn’t disagree and that he expressed the same to the Republican leadership in Washington.
He responded to a question about him breaking with party lines voting along with Democrats in support of the Senate-passed reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act supporting tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians for prosecutorial powers in cases of domestic violence and sexual assault. He said his position was not popular with some Republicans in the House.
Several board members cited drug problems, especially methamphetamine addiction, as a major problem with young people on the reservation.
“Our people die every week because we don’t have the money to send them off to get the treatment they need,” board member Edward Bauer said.
“Crime on this reservation has increased over 200 percent in the past two years just because of the Bakken (Oilfield),” Rick Kirn, chairman of the Law and Justice Committee, said.
“It’s a slap in the face to us. Our issues are as important as other people’s issues,” he said.
Daines said representatives of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies attended a meeting with him in Sidney Wednesday, May 14, and told him crime of all kinds has increased dramatically with the oil boom in the Sidney area.
Daines cited a 221 percent increase in criminal activity in eastern Montana in the past two years that includes human trafficking and a sharp increase in the number of registered sex offenders, a presence of organized criminal activity and two major methamphetamine busts in 2013.
An agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency told Daines in Sidney that methamphetamine was coming into eastern Montana from organized crime sources, some connected to Mexican drug cartels.
“We don’t have any oil activity. All we are experiencing is the collateral damage,” Kirn said.
“You aren’t seeing the fruit of the Bakken. You are seeing the collateral damage; the spill-over from that,” Daines said.
Kirn also asked Daines to look at problems with jurisdictional issues between tribal and non-tribal law enforcement agencies.
Board member Roxanne Gourneau delivered a passionate message to Daines.
She asked him if he knew what it would be like to be labeled a ward (of the government).
“We’re human beings. Give us the respect and the dignity,” she said.
Gourneau said the people of the Fort Peck Reservation have molded themselves in their culture.
“We only take what we need. We are not wasteful people,” she said.
Gourneau talked about violence in schools across the nation.
“We need to have a standard of education in Montana for all children, and that’s not happening,” she said.
Gourneau cited that the Brockton and Frazer schools have not benefited from oil industry generated Concentric Circle funding comes has helped other schools in eastern Montana and that both schools are struggling to remain open.
“They are ready to shut their doors and no one seems to care,” Gourneau said.
Several school districts in eastern Montana, including some in Roosevelt County, receive Concentric Circle money, where a school district receives more than 130 percent in oil and gas revenue. The funds spill over into the neighboring districts. That funding has not benefited Brockton and Frazer.
“If we continue on the same path, it’s a path to nowhere,” Gourneau said.
“Our education on our reservation needs to be revitalized,” she said.
Gourneau mentioned the possibility of developing a charter school on the reservation.
Daines responded that he supports the concept of charter schools in Montana.
“I think a charter school is a step forward,” he said.
There were also several comments that not enough high school students are graduating.
Bauer and several others said there are problems with the Indian Health Service (IHS).
“I don’t think anyone in Indian Country is happy with IHS and IHS funding,” Daines said.
Bauer said that while Obamacare is not popular with Republicans, the Affordable Care Act has helped a lot of people.
“I hope you keep that in mind when you go back to Washington,” he said.
Daines said it might not be an issue of not enough money spent on IHS.
“I think the dollars are not being spent very well,” he said.
Daines said IHS must be fundamentally restructured and funding should go to each tribe, rather than into a large funding pool.
Environmental issues were also raised.
Kirn said the route of the proposed Keystone Pipeline has been shifted off the Fort Peck Reservation and all tribal lands between Montana and Texas so that the developers could avoid regulations. The route that would have crossed the Fort Peck Reservation has been shifted to a site that is near Fort Peck Lake. Kirn said the reservation and its residents could have benefited economically, including job creation.
Daines cited Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recently issuing an executive order stopping the importation of electricity from Montana that is produced by coal-fired power plants. In doing so, Daines said Inslee has economically damaged Montana’s power generation and mining industries, with Montana jobs at stake.
Inslee is a Democrat who has made climate change one of his key issues.
Daines introduced the board to Amanda Peterman, the tribal liaison on his staff who is an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe.

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