The U.S. House passed a bill on Thursday that would give federal recognition to the Little Shell of Chippewa.
Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., sponsored the The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act.
Gianforte was in Billings on Saturday and talked about the bill.
“What this does is gives them a recognition as a people under the treaties that they were engaged in,” Gianforte said. “And it will help them bring additional educational benefits, health care as well as economic development to help. I’ve spoken with Chairman Gray. His goal is to be independent and self sufficient as a tribe and I applaud that.”
Little Shell of Chippewa Tribe Chair Gerald Gray said the bill would bring dignity and a government relationship that he says should have happened decades ago.
The bill still needs to pass in the U.S. Senate.