Montana Treaty Rights workshop on October 23.
By YVETTE TUELL
Tribal Public Affairs
BILLINGS, Mont. — The Montana/Dakotas State Office for Bureau of Land Management presented a Treaty Rights Seminar for BLM and Forest Service employees in Billings, Montana on Wednesday, October 23.
The Seminar was intended to assist the federal employees when addressing tribal treaty rights on public lands in Montana and east into North and South Dakota. Four treaties were discussed, including the Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868, the Blackfeet Treaty of 1855, the Hellgate Treaty of 1855 and the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.
Tribal speakers included Attorney Joe McKay, Blackfeet, who spoke on the Blackfeet treaties of 1855 and 1895, John Harrison, staff attorney for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, who presented on the Treaty rights of the Hellgate Treaty and their recent water agreement. Yvette Tuell focused on treaty rights and tribal consultation requirements, and Professor Joseph McGeshick provided a historical lecture on the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 and how it impacted the Sioux and the later conflicts over the Black Hills lands.
Over 60 federal employees attended from throughout Montana and parts of the Dakotas, and also included two Department of Interior solicitors.