Friday, May 27, 2022


High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.


Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.


High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Opposition from Tribes as MT Chooses Congressional Voting Map


Monday, November 8, 2021   

HELENA, Mont. - Tribal nations and organizations say they're frustrated with the congressional map Montana's redistricting commission has chosen.

Chair Maylinn Smith, who was appointed by the state Supreme Court, broke a tie in favor of a map drawn by Republican commission members.

Ta'jin Perez, deputy director of the Native American advocacy group Western Native Voice, said tribes in the state have expressed their opposition to that map.

He said it's a confusing selection, because Smith threw out the first nine proposed maps, saying she wanted more tribal perspective.

"So," said Perez, "it seems as though, while there was that on-the-record request or hope on the chair's part to get more tribal input, in the end it fell on deaf ears."

The chair says the tentative map selected last week is a compromise that still offers a chance at a politically competitive district in western Montana.

The commission will accept public comments at a meeting tomorrow. It says small changes might still be made before its deadline to choose a final map on Sunday.

Tribes and groups like Western Native Voice have asked for at least two tribes in each congressional districts. The final map does this, but Perez called it "pandering."

"Both tribes and our organization have been on the record as far as saying that that isn't enough, that there also needs to be at least one competitive district," said Perez. "And that within that competitive district, that there be at least two tribal nations."

Perez said the redistricting process has mostly been transparent. However, he said he thinks that changed after the original nine maps were thrown out, leaving commissioners to scramble to design new ones.

Perez contended the transparency was reduced when two new maps were settled on at the end of October.

"Which is very disappointing," said Perez, "because as we're reaching the deadline, it's more and more important to get meaningful public comment. Meaningful tribal comment in particular, which is important for us, and that just wasn't possible in the timeframes that were rushed along, here at the end."

Data from the 2020 Census means Montana has two seats in the U.S. House for the first time in three decades. State-level redistricting is expected to begin in the new year.

get more stories like this via email
Florida Democrats want to expand the state's "red flag" law, to allow family members to initiate confiscating weapons. Currently, only law enforcement can take guns away from those who pose a danger to themselves and others. (jarmoluk/Pixabay)

Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …


This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …

Aside from health risks, environmental officials say harmful algae blooms pose a threat to Iowa's water recreation industry. When beaches and other access points are temporarily shut down, it discourages plans for boating or swimming. (Adobe Stock)


Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Gas prices are higher on average in western Montana than they are in eastern Montana. (Vinícius Bacarin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …


New York state lawmakers are weighing two bills which would grant utilities more vertical market power, a move proponents argued will help the state …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021