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Tribal Leaders and visitors to the council stand in respect as Fort Peck Sioux leads the Tribal Executive Board through a flag song and an honor song. Every tribal government starts their meeting differently, and this is the Fort Peck Tribes way.
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The Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board listens to a Zoom call from Stephanie Iron Shooter during the full Tribal Executive Board meeting Monday, April 10, 2023.

Tribal leaders went on record to change their hiring policy to eliminate nepotism/favoritism in hiring.

During the April 10, 2023 full board meeting, the Tribal Executive Board voted to change the wording in the hiring section of the policies and procedures from “program director/supervisor” to “immediate supervisor.” 

Every council member present agreed this was a very good motion and is needed. 

Now the wording will state “No person shall be hired in a program where their spouse, parent, sibling or child is serving as that person’s Immediate Supervisor.”

Nepotism and favoritism have been a perceived problem from the public for years. 

With the exception of Councilman Bryce Kirk, who was absent, all Tribal Executive Board members were present at the regular meeting. 

The following are highlights from the meeting.


New Payday

Starting next month, all tribal employees will be paid on Friday.

Upon a recommendation from Jodi Magnan, who works in Central Finance with payroll, the TEB voted to change the payroll date from Sunday to Saturday, at 11:59 p.m.

Tribal Council member Dana Buckles said that some Central Finance employees have to come in on the weekends. He also spoke with numerous tribal employees and although a vast majority were against this, the new payday is needed. 

Council member Marva Chapman asked why this was needed. Council member Carolyn Brugh said this would take care of all the payroll work on the same day as opposed to coming in during the weekends. 

Councilman Lawrence Hamilton said once the resolution is passed it will take a month to implement the changes.

The final vote was called for and five voted for this, five were opposed. Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure broke the tie by voting in favor of the change. 

In a related motion, the council voted to go back one payroll period only for Tribal Corrections to correct any mistakes on payroll. 



Indian Health Service employee Jackie Hippe met with the tribal council during the Chairman’s Report at the start of the TEB meeting. 

Service Unit Director Marjorie Spotted Bird was on leave and she would be returning to meet with the council later. Tribal Council member Patt Iron Cloud told her she would have to be there tomorrow (April 11, 2023) for a meeting with the Tribal Council, the Sonosky Law Firm, and others to discuss the Tribes taking over the Dental Care program from the government. 

COVID-19 infections have gone down, and according to the protocol developed the clinic is on “Code Green.” That means there are very low documented cases or none at all, and with the lack of COVID-19 the mask requirement for everyone going into the clinic has been dropped. 

Walk-in slots are not being used, and the new clinical director’s goal is to fill every slot to see as many patients as possible, Hippe said. 

The Fort Peck Service Unit is currently at Level four or five, she said. 

Councilwoman Iron Cloud asked about insurance and/or third party billing. Hippe said Carla Lovan checks on this when patients come in and finds those other resources.

With the report, no questions followed.


Jail Nurse

Corrections was approved to hire a registered nurse to go in every Tuesday and Thursday to provide necessary medical and physical assessments along with medications prescriptions and refills. Security is going to be provided by the jail. 


New Guards

Corrections officers Jennifer Looking, Kendra Bets His Medicine and Rayneese Bets His Medicine were hired on as full time officers. 

All three were on temporary hire.



The Red Bird Woman Center’s request for a custodian position description and final classification was approved by the TEB.

The final classification is as WG-4, Step one, Wage Grade Schedule $13.99 an hour or $28,870 per annum.



Through live-streaming, representatives from Western Native Voice came to meet with the Tribal Council about upcoming events. 

Stephanie Iron Shooter informed the council of an upcoming event where Western Native Voice will be visiting with the public and hopefully registering new voters. 

This is planned for sometime in May.



Myrna Walking Eagle of Natural Resources explains the land resolutions to the council at the full board meeting Monday, April 10, 2023.

Leave without pay will now be required for those tribal employees who are serving on various boards of directors (ie. Fort Peck Inc., Gaming Commission, etc).

“Leave without pay shall be required for those employees that sit on a board of directors, committees and commissions during work hours.” the resolution states.

This is being done to allow employees that sit on a board to use their annual leave when delegated by the Tribal Council, and receive retroactive pay back from April 1, 2023. The final vote was ten for, none opposed, two absent. 



Tribal leaders approved the creation and advertisement for a Construction Manager at Risk.

This is in relation to the renovation of the Head Start facilities in Frazer and Fort Kipp. Council member Brugh said the children in these communities need to know they come first when providing services for our people. 


Secret Ballots

Through use of secret ballots, two individuals were selected to serve on boards and commissions. The Tribal Council went on record to approve each selection.

Thomas Bauer Jr. was appointed to the Fort Peck Inc. Board of Directors through a secret ballot vote. 

Ashley Trottier was appointed to the Tribal Gaming Commission. 


Commissioner needed

The Water Resource Council was approved to advertise a vacancy for a commissioner position for a three year term. 



A right of way was approved for Nemont along the Indian Highway. 

According to the motion, the right away is along BIA Route 1, namely north of BIA Route 1.



Working under a deadline, the TEB approved a seven signature resolution to authorize the Office of Environmental Protection to submit an application budget and workplan to the Environmental Protection Agency in the amount of $1.5 million. 

Because of the deadline for this, OEP needs seven signatures.



The TEB approved an appraisal of an allotment located west of Oswego, surface only. 

Jodi Benson was allowed to add her husband Kenneth Benson to the agricultural lease. 

Natural Resources will be advertising to find a contractor to help finish with unit No. 43, with 16 miles of fencing that needs to be installed. 

Enrolled member new leases were approved for Darlyn Grainger and Emerson Young.

A new home site lease was approved for Dr. Robin Bighorn.

Non enrolled member lease renewals were approved for G&R Angus Ranch Inc. (Gary Funk, President), 

The TEB approved the inclusion of including T5392 under the grazing permit for range unit nine for the 2023-2032 permit period. It is also included under the grazing permit for Range Unit 38 for 2023 through 2032. It’s 640 acres. 

The Tribes also approved and declared interest in and an appraisal for Bush Ranch Inc. for 159.57 acres. 

Theresa Stovern land offer at an appraised price of $170,000 was purchased by the Tribes.

The council voted to declare an interest and request an appraisal for an allotment belong to Charlotte Rowe, containing 77.42 acres. It will be at a cost of $20,000 to purchase. 

Tribal leaders voted to declare interest and request an appraisal for Russell Kirn, the sole owner of the allotment located by Medicine Lake north of Poplar. 


Head Start

The Director of Head Start can apply for remaining funds from the Tribes American Rescue Plan Act funding for $43,081.50, with a breakdown of budget included at a no cost extension ending August 31, 2023,.


Tribal Flag

A request to donate a Fort Peck Tribal flag to the Wolf Point Public School system was approved.

Councilwoman Chapman said the flag there now has become tattered and torn with time and wind power. 


Data Entry

The Indian Reservation Roads (ie Tribal Transportation Program) will be advertising for a Data Entry Right of Way Technician position.

This new job will be available through IRR.


Grant funds

The TEB voted to approve the partnership with the Montana Office of Rural Health and Area Health Education Center to implement the US Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention be requested to make available a grant, pursuant to the terms of the request for proposal to the Fort Peck Tribal Health Department. 


Third Party Billing

Tribal leaders voted to hire three new people to work as consultants for a new third party billing department created.

The council approved the professional services contract checklist for Dorothy Dupree, Amber Mary Terry, and Lisa James. 


Medical Assistance

The policy regarding medical assistance travel has been amended so that individuals who have to pay out of their own pocket could be reimbursed. 

According to the Medical Assistance policy, anyone requesting help must apply and have their application done and into Tribal Health at least 72 hours notice. Nothing in the policy allows for people to be reimbursed, and it is the recommendation of the Tribal Health Director to run the checks even if it’s after 72 hours as long as they have verification they went to their appointment. 



The Council approved Tribal Health working with the Remote Job Services to help with funding applications from the Montana Public Health Institute for the Opioid Education and Naloxone Distribution Program pilot project.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a federal organization, Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone.



Dale Four Bear, director of the Spotted Bull Resource Recovery Treatment Center, brought in a resolution to recognize the name that was being used for the Inpatient Treatment Planning Committee. It’s the name used when Dr. Ken Ryan was the director at the time.

Tatanka Gdes’ka is the Dakota language word approved to describe the Inpatient Treatment Planning Committee. 


Indian housing

The TEB approved the 2023-2024 Indian Housing Block Grant Plant for $5,563,602 with $26,526 carry over for 2024-2025.



The council approved an update to the Fort Peck Housing Authority Ordinance 3A for the Policy and Procedures. 



The Red Bird Woman Center is authorized to submit the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council’s Domestic Violence Prevention Program request for funding worksheet to finalize the contract of $10,000 per year for a five year period for a total of $50,000.

The Chief Financial Officer Randy Redpath or authorized personnel is to sign the above aforementioned financial forms and to authorize the Tribal Chairman/Vice Chair to sign the contracts. 



The council approved the Fort Peck Tribes ARPA Emergency Appliance Assistance Program change the plan of action, to the following the 150 percent Fiscal Year 2021 Homeowner Assistance Fund Income Limits for Roosevelt County. These guidelines to follow are for the period of October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023. 



Miles Buckles was approved for educational leave from August 2023 through May 2024. 

Councilwoman Chapman said Buckles would be attending school at Salish Kootenai College. 



The contract the Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program has with Megan Cartillar for Chiropractic services through May 30, 2028.



Tribal leaders voted to donate a buffalo to the 100th Stampede Committee. 



Everyone working in the IRR program will have their job positions reclassified.



The council approved to pay for the additions for all tribal members over-sized coffins, that includes the cost of all tribal members, regardless of age, that are over-sized. 

About Post Author

Louis H. Montclair

A journalist on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Owner of tribaltimesnews.com
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By Louis H. Montclair

A journalist on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Owner of tribaltimesnews.com

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