MTPR

Western Native Voice

Chase Comes at Night, Marcos Lopez, Jazz Walker, and N’zshonico Cummins are members of the Billings Schools Tribal Council. They attended the 2018 Indigenous Movements Interchange in Great Falls last week.
Corin Cates-Carney


Chase Comes at Night, who is Blackfeet, is a high school senior in Billings who wants to get more involved in politics.

“The issues that I would focus on addressing would be, most likely, poverty and just connecting our reservations and rural areas to the real world," Comes at Night says. "On the reservations it seems like it's more of a third world compared to what we live in.”

Women's Marches Draw Thousands Across Montana

Jan 21, 2018
Some of the estimated 3,000 people gathered for the Missoula womens march, January 20, 2018.
Josh Burnham

Thousands of people gathered at events across Montana Saturday to participate in this year’s Women’s March. Each event had its own organizers and theme.

In Missoula, pink hats, red sashes, and sassy signs peppered downtown Saturday morning, as an estimated 3,000 people gathered for the second Women’s March. Last year, a centralized march held at the state capitol drew an estimated 10,000 people. But this year, 9 cities hosted coordinated rallies.

Zephry Holloway's grandmother painted the motarboard for his high school graduation ceremony. The school said he couldn't wear it.
Muriel Winnier

Graduation ceremonies this spring became the testing ground for a new state law that protects tribal members’ right to wear regalia at significant public events. Most have gone off without a hitch — students across the state are receiving their diplomas in beaded caps and gowns, but schools are still trying to figure out how to implement the new law.

Montana Law Protects Right To Wear Tribal Regalia

May 19, 2017
High school seniors Jessica Not Afraid, left, Georgeline Morsette and Shaylee St. Marks wear  their beaded graduation caps to support Senate Bill 319 at the Montana Legislature Tuesday,  March 14.
Freddy Monares

Gov. Steve Bullock will hold a signing ceremony tomorrow for a bill that will allow Native Americans to wear traditional regalia during public events, including high school graduations.

“This bill means a lot to me. It’s important that our youth are able to display their culture and their identity during monumental events, such as graduation,” says Marci McLean, the director of Western Native Voice, a nonprofit advocacy group.

Montana Group Working To Register Native Voters

Aug 30, 2016
It’s municipal election day in many communities across Montana. Turnout appears to be better in some places than others.
Josh Burnham

Among the organizations working to get out the vote this fall in Montana is Western Native Voice,  a nonpartisan group based out of Billings.

Jewell Deschamps-Gopher works for them. Part of her job is motivating people to register to vote.

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