On the Issues

Native Americans

Steve Bullock has a proven record of respecting tribal sovereignty and working in partnership with tribal nations to tackle the challenges facing Indian Country. Congress still has a lot of work to do to meet the federal government’s trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal nations, so Steve will take his experience to Washington to go to bat for Montana’s Native peoples in the Senate.


To improve health equity, we must fully fund the Indian Health Service and urban Indian health programs and invest in mental health care, including suicide prevention efforts and substance use treatment. Equal access to a quality education is essential, and for Native children that requires fully funding Impact Aid, culturally sensitive and trauma-informed wraparound services, and increasing support for tribal colleges. Creating affordable housing in Indian Country is critical to addressing homelessness faced by Native families. In the Senate, Steve will work with both parties in consultation with Native leaders to address this challenge.


Everyone has a right to clean water–extending the life of the Indian Water Settlement Fund will ensure that we’re securing this right and meeting treaty responsibilities in Indian Country. Public lands offer economic opportunity and support jobs throughout our state, and we need to make sure this promise is met in Indian Country as well. We can create Native jobs by empowering tribes to work in partnership with the National Park Service in managing public lands.


Access to the ballot box is the most fundamental right in our democracy. To preserve voting rights for Native Americans, we need to protect measures like satellite voting locations and same-day voter registration, and ensure that tribal IDs are accepted as documentation for registering and voting.


Montana’s Native communities have a long legacy of service in the armed forces, and we need to make sure we’re keeping our promise to Native veterans after they leave the military. Increasing the number of tribal veteran service officers is an important step in ensuring that all veterans receive the benefits they have earned.


Every Montana family deserves to know that we will not rest if they are facing the horror of a missing son or daughter. The federal government has a responsibility to do much more to address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. In the Senate, Steve will push to improve the federal response to incidents of missing and murdered Native Americans, and improve cooperation and coordination between tribal and federal response agencies.


By consistently showing up for Montana’s eight tribal nations, Steve has been able to achieve real progress as Governor. During his tenure, he invested in tribal colleges, secured millions in funding to help Native Americans start their own business, funded native language preservation, signed laws to fight the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, increased access to healthcare for Native people through Medicaid expansion, and created the first tribal college apprenticeship program in the nation.