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Tribal leaders voted to keep paying for police presence at Wolf Point Schools at the April 24, 2023 full board meeting.

The Tribal Executive Board discussed this when a motion came up to suspend reimbursement for the Wolf Point Public Schools School Resource Officer until the inquire is complete retro seating back to April 17, 2023.  

Councilwoman Stacey Summers said this position shouldn’t be suspended because of security issues.

Chairman Floyd Azure said the Tribes help pay for the salary of the SRO, but it’s up to Roosevelt County to provide the officer for the position. 

Councilwoman Shannon Martell said she didn’t know where this came from or why it’s here. She asked to be filled in on the details, but Summers told her the TEB would have to go into executive session.

Councilwoman Patt Iron Cloud said by doing this the Tribes are holding the school accountable. 

The motion came up for a vote and the final count was five (Shannon Martell, Patt Iron Cloud, Carolyn Brugh, Justin Gray Hawk, and Bryce Kirk) for and seven (Alex Smith, Terry Rattling Thunder, Dana Buckles, Lawrence Hamilton, Marva Chapman, Wayne Martell, and Stacey Summers) opposed.

The following highlights are from the April 24, 2023 full board meeting. All council members were present except Vice Chairman Charles Headdress. 


Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board member Shannon Martell during the full board meeting Monday, April 24, 2023.

Payday Reverted 

Within a couple weeks of changing Tribal payday to Friday, the TEB voted to change it back to Thursdays again.

The motion to rescind Tribal Resolution #31-1844-2023-04, which changed tribal payroll day to Friday, was in response to a backlash from people opposed to the change.

“People hate change,” Councilwoman Chapman said. She spoke with a number of individuals about this and while some were for it, the vast majority didn’t want this changed. Some said this could cut down on people abusing the system and taking personal days before and after payday.

However, if people still want to be paid on Friday then give them a payroll advance every week, she said. 

Payday being changed was done at the request of central finance and payroll, who have to work after hours and weekends to get the tribal payroll finished and ready to go. 



The council voted to change the Medical Travel Assistance Application and Assistance Policy by eliminating “must submit application 72 hours prior to appointment” part of the policy.

Councilman Kirk said there are too many people who are negatively impacted by requiring them to submit an application within 72 hours prior to appointment for approval. Medical emergencies happen, and the ones who need help can’t get it with the three day requirement.

Now, the application must be submitted prior to their appointments with verification of doctors visit. The application will be approved and processed. 


Spotted Bull

The Spotted Bull Resource Recovery Center will be fundraising for an upcoming relay race. 

Along with fundraising, the SBRRC will be setting up an 8000 account. The council also approved donating a buffalo for the event, which is set for Labor Day weekend 2023.



The TEB approved the Branch of Corrections request to close the Turnkey account with Opportunity Bank and establish a new checking account with Independence Bank in Poplar. Director Richard Cantrell is one of three authorized people on the account, the others being Jennifer Looking and Jerica Olson. 



Tribal Veterans Affairs Program Director Ryan Beston visited with the TEB and had two people with him. One was the new administrative assistant Lexi Longee. Also present was a family member of the late Chuck Eagleman, a tribal Air Force veteran, and presented him with a star quilt, tribal committee minutes state.

After the introductions, the council approved funding the Tribes Veterans Affair Program up to $5,000 per emergency call to help veterans that may be stranded away from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation after medical appointments. 


Public Transportation

A construction bid from Century Companies Inc. was accepted for work with the Tribal Transit Program. 

The Fort Peck Transit Project bid award is $1,399,106 to be charged to the fiscal year 2020 Cares Act and another tribal transportation program grant will cover that cost. 



Two huge parcels of land were added to the growing tribal land base with the approved purchase of property from Scott McGowan and Bush Ranch Inc. The purchase is at market value, $800,000

The Tribes purchased six tracts of land from mark Lonz for $206,595.67.

An enrolled member homesite renewal was approved for Mary and Gregory Gourneau in Wolf Point.

An enrolled member new lease was approved for Terrance Gourneau Sr. for 44 acres, and Thomas Flynn Sr. 96 acres.

Scott Sather was approved for a non-enrolled member lease renewal. 

A “Spiritual Lease” renewal was approved. 

Rates for pasturing were changed and updated based on authorizations in section 11.C.4(c) Ownership of the Fort Peck Tribes Land Policy.

Tribal tracts were added to Range Unit 9 for the 2023-2032 permit period. One is for 320 acres, with 74 AUMS and another tract with 320 acres and 67 AUMS.


Foster Care

The TEB approved one regular/emergency license. This was done based on the recommendation of Ona Windchief, the Foster Home License Director. 



The Tribes Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program were authorized to submit an application to the Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program; Implementation and Expansion Grants Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. 



A bit from Corland Construction was rejected in lieu of Tom Weeks, the American Rescue Plan Act Manager, recommendation to self perform the construction project. 



The council voted to pay for HPDP’s request to pay Provo Canyon Behavioral Health Facility for $35,200 for the acute treatment of an individual.

The Provo Canyon Behavioral Health Facility is located in Utah. 


Child Protection

The Red Bird Woman Center will administer and be the lead entity/administrator of the Child Protection Team to address child physical/abuse, sexual assault, and neglect reports. The team will also meet monthly to address these issues as well as reviewing and updating the Child Protection Team agreement and protocols. 

In a related motion, the Red Bird Woman Center’s Restrictive Policy is now included in the centers shelter policy that will provide safety precautions to the survivors, current shelter residents, hotel staff, and staff and advocates from the center. 



Fentanyl has been added to the list of dangerous drugs a person can be charged (see separate story).


Legal bills

Tribal leaders paid a legal invoice for services from the Sonosky and Chambers law firm in Washington DC. 

These include $9,840 for work on the Indian Child Welfare Act; $8,629.55 for general legal counsel; and $240 for a health program.



A memorandum of understanding between the State of Montana and the Fort Peck Tribes was approved by the TEB.

According to committee minutes, the MOU is the Tribes giving the state permission to enforce state law on non-enrolled people violating state law on the reservation.



The Tribes Office of Environmental Protection was authorized to submit an application budget and work plan for the Environmental Protection Agency for $375,900.



Tribal Fish and Game Director Robbie Magnan was authorized to do write a letter of support to Montana Senator Jon Tester on behalf of the Fish Wildlife Service initiating a scoping process of the tribal proposal providing an opportunity for citizens to engage and comment on an environmental impact and have the Tribal Chairman sign the letter.



The council voted to have the Bureau of Indian Affairs to give a monthly updated list of pending land sales to the Natural Resources Director Myrna Walking Eagle. 



Fort Peck Head Start Program will be getting a cost of living allocation for $107,656 to be retroactive to February 1, 2023, for the Fiscal Year 2023. 

Councilman Kirk said this is a five percent increase.

Councilman Rattling Thunder asked if the Tribes are going to go without a COLA each year. If the Tribes stay in range of the COLA, it will save the Tribes from doing a huge COLA increase later in the year.

In a related motion, Head Start was allowed to submit the Quality Improvement application for $60,000.  


State Grant

The TEB approved the A&S Minerals Development Co. LLC to administer a grant to the Montana Department of Commerce, Office of Indian Country Economic Assistance for the Tribal Business Development Program for $658,240 for a budget which ASMD will administer, Chairman Azure being authorized to sign all documents. 



The Wolf Point Community Organization received council approval of a five year Strategic Plan (See separate story).

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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