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Slated to hire more dentists

With help from the Tribal Sponsorship Health Insurance Program, Tribal Health was given extra money to use in hiring more dentists.

During the July 24, 2023 full board meeting, TSHIP funds of $425,471 to be given back to Tribal Health of use for hiring more dentists and staff. In House Attorney Cher Stewart said the need is there. The Tribes need to carve this out to get the needs of the dentists in shape.

Councilman Bryce Kirk said he didn’t want to see the Tribes cut from the budget but when it’s time to fund the clinic again the feds are going to take this out.

Councilman Dana Buckles said when the Tribes took this on, a price was set. The Tribes are being undercut anyway, so this American Rescue Plan Act money won’t hurt anything. The federal government is not meeting their treaty rights, it’s like they’re billing IHS for what they owe us, Buckles said.

The Tribes were mandated to offer health insurance for their workers, and they finally were able to get it, Buckles said. He gets a lot of calls on hearing aids, and now IHS wants to fight the Tribes over dental, he said.

Earlier this year the Tribal Council voted to take over the Dental Program from Indian Health Service and operate separately. They have been preparing ever since.

This would be the second program to be taken under the Tribes this year. The Tribes also attempted to take over the Bureau of Indian Affairs Social Services program but it failed because they could not find anyone willing to work there.

The Tribes new Dental Program is expected to start in October of this year.

The following are briefs from the July 24, 2023 full board meeting.

RJS & Associates

The council approved of using RJS and Associates of Box Elder, Mont., to prepare the required grant application for financial assistance from the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration.

Human Resources

Justiss Toavs was selected to fill the vacant Human Resources Office Manager position.

Before this, Tribal Operations Manager Megan Gourneau was in charge of HR after the previous director was sent to the Indian Reservation Roads Program.

The position is to be filled immediately. It makes $25.02 an hour.


Tribal leaders went on record to provide a Letter of Support to the Southern Airlines proposed expanded routes.

Councilwoman Iron Cloud asked where they were expanding. Councilwoman Marva Chapman said this is mostly to places where driving is done now/

In the end, the council voted five for (Council members Larry Hamilton, Wayne Martell, Chapman, Iron Cloud, Buckles) and five opposed (council members Alex Smith, Carolyn Brugh, Stacey Summers, Justin Gray Hawk, Bryce Kirk). Vice Chairman Charlie Headdress was overseeing the meeting, and it was up to him to break the tie. He voted for the measure and it passed.


A motion regarding the completion of a tribal facility was sent back to the committee for futher review.

At the full board, the motion came up to endorse all official correspondence and documents which relate to the completion of this Tribal facility lease transaction between the Tribes and Brixtel Defense.

According to their website, Brixtel Defense is a company in Virginia that produces high quality small caliber ammunition for small firearms.


Paula Rankin was promoted as Chief Financial Manager.

Credit Cards

Half of the council narrowly approved the use of credit cards and incidentals for TEB travel, while at the same time still receiving a check for mileage and per diem.


The new application process for signing up for repairs and weatherization has been updated.

With a vote of nine for, none opposed, and three absent, tribal leaders approved the new application process of the Tribes Repair & Weatherization Over-Income Program.


Tribal leaders voted to advertise the position of part-time inspector for the ARPA Repair and Weatherization Over-Income Program.


The Tribal Transportation Program/Indian Reservation Roads program and the TEB approved of $79, 882 to be set aside for the TTP/IRR program for match use upon the awarding of the grant.

The final vote was nine for, three absent.


Frances Crandell sold the Tribes allotment No. 1742 for $4,067.72.

An application from Lionel Weeks for allotment 206-1200 (with 43 owners) located north of Oswego; Allotment 206-3041, (with 16 owners) located east of Wolf Point. There is another one is allotment 206-3473 with 15 owners and located north of Fort Kipp.

One more allotment is listed, 206-4083 with four owners, located near northeastern Wolf Point.

The council voted to declare interest and request an appraisal in four allotments belonging to William J. Reynen, and three allotments from Michael Bullcalf’s allotments, one allotment from Michael Long Hair, and two other allotments from Morgan Porras and Connie Kawasaki.

Dyan Youpee was approved for an enrolled member new home site lease.

Ronald Eagle was approved for an enrolled member home site lease renewal.

Non-enrolled member renewals were approved for James Losing Jr. and Wacy Moraam.

A grazing permit for range unit 31 for 2023 through 2032.

Another piece of land was included under a grazing permit for range unit 62 for 2023 through

the 2032 permit period.


The council approved a lease for the buffalo ranch.

This is part of the Buffalo Processing Plant plan the Tribes and the Buffalo Ranch/Tribal Fish and Game have been working on this past year.

Once finished, it will be used for killing and processing buffalo.

Cojo Construction

An amendment to a resolution brought by the Tribal Minerals Department was approved by tribal leaders.

According to the amended resolution, the council authorizes statement of work no. three for contract number 22020 with Cojo Construction for the total agreement price of $175,824.


Tribal leaders approved a contract modification for services to Spotted Bull Recovery Resource Center.

Virginia “Mena” Limpy-Goings provided $30,000 of consulting services to Spotted Bull.


The Red Bird Woman Center was approved to use their premium pay plan for trauma informed advocates that present for special projects/activities/events after normal work hours, holidays, weekends, vacation days, and administrative leave time periods and to allow the trauma advocates to use their on call cell phones to record their time while on emergency response and other staff will punch in at the Red Bird Woman Center site.


Tribal Dialysis Unit worker Gayle Kirn is retiring after 29 year of service. To honor her, the Tribal Council authorized a retirement gift of $500 and a star quilt.


The Tribal Health Department were authorized to pay a recruitment/retention bonus to Wilma Yellow Hammer for $2,500. She is a licensed Mosquito Abatement Operator. (ie she kills the pests for the people)


Britney Spotted Bird was hired as the new office assistant for the Health Promotion Disease Prevention program. .

In a related motion, a 30 day extension was approved for HPDP Janitor Phillip Lemay. He works at the HPDP Daycare.

Foster Homes

The council approved two regular/emergency foster license renewals and one regular/kinship renewal.


The Household Financial Assistance application deadline is set for November 24, 2023.


A $38,000 contract between Lance Fourstar and the Fort Peck Tribes 988 project, with the starting date being July 27, 2023 and ending date of August 2024.

Tatum Evenson of the Suicide Prevention Program said they have a lot of workers on the weekend. Fourstar will cover the weekends and make sure someone is there at all times.


Tribal leaders authorized the Chairman to sign a letter of “no objection” to Melody McCoy, staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund pursuing settlement negotiations on behalf of the Tribes.


An agreement was approved between Fort Peck Tribal Health Department and Bridgercare.


Jennifer Yellow Hammer was selected as Brockton’s representative to the Fort Peck Tribal Education Committee.


Tribal Court will be hosting an upcoming Tribal Justice Conference and covering the expenses with seizures and forfeited funds.

The court will provide lunch and refreshments for people attending the conference. Approximately $1,200 is their budget.

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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