A member of the tribal government at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation has set a meeting Wednesday to discuss issues residents might have with the government, politics and life at the reservation in southern Hill and northeaster Chouteau counties.
“I figure somebody’s got to get the ball rolling, ” Stacey Small, member of the Business Committee that serves as the council of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, said in an interview Sunday.
Small said the meeting, to which he has invited the entire Business Committee, is set to start at 6 p. m. Wednesday in the gymnasium at the old Stone Child College, near the reservation agency.
Small had a tumultous journey to get onto the committee himself.
After losing in the primary election in 2010, he filed a protest, saying one of the candidates should have been ineligible as a convicted felon. After losing his protest and appeal, without the judge holding a hearing, Small appealed the decision to the reservation’s appellate court, which sent it back for a formal hearing. The judge, brought in from off the reservation to hear the case, ruled against Small, saying the tribal government had sovereign immunity protecting it from his protest.
Small then won two special elections to fill a vacancy on the council. After the second-pace vote-getter, Donovan Stump Jr., protested the first special election, which Small won with 157 votes to Stump’s 144, Small won the second election ordered by the election committee with 352 votes to Stump’s 239.
Small said Sunday that he wants to look at several issues, including candidate eligibility in elections; electing rather than appointing tribal judges; the salaries paid elected officials; what he said is a very high rate of cancer on the reservation; and the issue of drug use on the reservation.
“My understanding is, (methamphetamine) is back here, ” Small said.
He said he has raised those and other issues at Business Committee meetings, but has not been satisfied with the action taken by the committee to date.
He said he wants to get word out to the people on the reservation about issues and what can be done.
“The people have the right to know, ” Small said.