Standing up for Indian Country

The past few years have seen historic achievements for Indian Country. From his seat on the Indian Affairs Committee, Jon has been a strong voice for the needs of Montana’s First Nations, and has successfully led the effort to build stronger and healthier Indian communities.

Jon supported and helped pass the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which had expired in 2000. The law modernizes delivery of health services in Indian Country and improves access to quality care for all American Indian communities.

Jon was instrumental in getting the historic Cobell v. Salazar class-action lawsuit settlement passed into law. The measure settles a decades-old lawsuit over mismanagement of Indian trust lands.

Jon introduced legislation settling the water rights of the Crow Tribe in a measure which became law in 2010. Jon is working to pass similar legislation to settle the water rights of the Blackfeet Tribe, and has won needed investments in critical Montana water in northeastern Montana.

Because stopping violent crime is a particular challenge on Indian reservations, Jon introduced the Tribal Law and Order Act, which became law in 2010. This law is already working to boost law enforcement on Indian reservations.

Since Jon’s best ideas come straight from Montanans, Jon has held hearings on the state’s reservations to tackle tough issues such as transportation, unemployment, and youth suicide. After listening to Montanans, Jon introduced THE PATH (Through Higher Education, Promoting the Advancement of Tribal Health) Act, which cleared the Indian Affairs Committee in 2009.

Jon’s legislation promotes jobs in Indian health by encouraging tribal colleges to advance health-related education and provide health workforce training. It would also:

Dr. Joe Medicine Crow receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom

  • Create nursing and other health care education programs at tribal colleges
  • Help staff Indian clinics and community wellness centers
  • Allow tribal colleges to start community outreach programs to manage key concerns like diabetes, at-risk youth, and substance abuse in Indian Country

In 2009, Jon nominated Dr. Joe Medicine Crow, a World War II hero and Crow war chief, for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The President bestowed the honor on Dr. Medicine Crow in August of 2010.

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Three things you can do right now to help Jon keep working for Montana:

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