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Coalition of Large Tribes Pushes for Transportation, Law Enforcement Funding in Federal Budget

Coal hills
Photo courtesy of George Frey, Getty Images

The Coalition of Large Tribes, or COLT, is an advocacy group composed of members from large Indian tribes from across the United States and is currently chaired by Darrin Old Coyote from the Crow tribe in Montana.

Colt will be meeting Thursday, March 2, and Old Coyote says the federal budget is top of mind.

“A lot of our issues will be around the federal budget that has been proposed, a lot of transportation, a lot of law enforcement issues,” Old Coyote said. “Those are basically the two main issues that we’ve been advocating for. Federal dollars come to state and tribes and as since we are large land-based tribes, we have a lot of roads that we need to maintain.”

COLT is also pushing for port and rail infrastructure projects, which, for the Crow tribe, will help bring Crow coal to market.

“Right now, we are probably one of the largest contiguous owners of coal in the U.S… the Crow tribe is,” said Old Coyote. “The policy on domestic coal has been kind of a war on coal, and the war on coal is a war on Crow families. The reason I say that is two-thirds of our non-federal budget comes from the mining of coal.”

All of the member tribes of COLT have land bases over 100,000 acres and include the Crow Nation, Navajo Nation, Blackfeet Tribe, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Colville Confederated Tribes, Spokane Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and more.

Darrin Old Coyote:

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