Three Affiliated Tribes review new constitution

The Three Affiliated Tribes is considering a new constitution to replace one written by the federal government 70 years ago. A tribal committee has been working for more than two years to write a new constitution. It was presented to the tribal council Wednesday. But the council decided to hold more public hearings before taking any action.

Head of Indian trust lawsuit urges tenacity

AUTHOR: Michael Moore, Missoulian

MISSOULA — When Elouise Cobell finally decided to sue the U.S. government for mishandling a century’s worth of trust income it held for Indians, she thought the lawsuit might last three years. In two months, the case that bears her name will have been in the court system for 10 years.

Although some of the issues have been resolved, the case is nowhere near resolution, Cobell said Friday during an appearance in Missoula.

Congratulations to the Mashpee Wampanoag

Heartfelt congratulations to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Cape Cod, Mass. We’ve known all along that they belong to one of the most historic Indian nations on the continent, the first to welcome the English Pilgrims and the first to lead a large-scale pan-tribal resistance against their encroachments. Now the federal government is preparing to acknowledge their existence.

After 10 tries, Washington’s current Indian agents finally got it right. Of course, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Cape Cod had such a strong case it would have been a major scandal if their petition for recognition did not succeed, but that thought hasn’t stopped the Interior Department in recent years. No tribe is immune to the bureaucratic trick of setting impossible standards of evidence.