Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council Supports Tribes’ Endeavors in Montana

April 1, 2024


Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council Supports Tribes’ Endeavors in Montana

Billings, MT – Tribal delegates recently attended the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council (RMTLC) quarterly board meeting in Billings, Montana March 26 – 27. Among those who attended included Fort Hall Business Council Member Sammy Matsaw Jr.; Public Affairs Manager, Echo Marshall; and Nolan Brown and Bailey Dann from the Original Territories and Research Office within the Language and Culture Preservation Department.

Nolan Brown, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Original Territories and Research Program Manager, provided a presentation titled “Shoshone-Bannock – Central to Montana History”, which was intended to provide an overview of the Shoshone and Bannock peoples’ historical and ongoing presence in Montana. He also explained the purpose of the Tribe’s Original Territories and Historical Research Program.

“The presentation was made to illustrate our Tribes’ goal to provide interpretation and education of our peoples’ historical original territories, our history, and unending presence in all our homelands,” stated Brown. “Presently in Montana, we are pursuing opportunities to engage in public education and outreach through partnership and collaboration with the Montana Historical Society, Montana State Department of Education and other institutions involved in museums and schools,” he explained.

During the meeting, the RMTLC approved a letter of support for the Tribes’ endeavors within the State of Montana. The letter states, “The RMTLC stands firmly behind the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in their pursuit of recognition of your history, language, culture, land areas, and contemporary issues within the state of Montana. We recognize the importance of preserving and promoting the rich heritage of the Shoshone-Bannock people, and we are committed to supporting your efforts in this regard.”

Brown explained that support from the RMTLC was requested for two specific projects in Montana. 1) To assert Shoshone-Bannock Tribal perspectives in the Montana Indian Education for All K-12 Curriculum, which is missing Shoshone and Bannock components, and 2) inclusion of Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in developing exhibits at the Montana Heritage Center scheduled for construction in 2025, which has yet to include Shoshone and Bannock perspectives.

The letter concluded by stating, “Please rest assured that the RMTLC is fully committed to supporting the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in these endeavors and will actively advocate for your inclusion and participation in relevant initiatives within the State of Montana.”

“I am pleased with our Tribal staff’s ongoing efforts to teach others about our history, provide technical assistance and strengthen relationships with those who need to understand the significance of our people in our historical homelands,” stated Councilman Matsaw. “This letter of support is just one of many steps in the right direction for our staff to be able to move forward with their research of ancestral land claims in Idaho and Southwest Montana.”

The RMTLC held an election of officers for their Board of Directors. The new Chairman is Bryce Kirk, Fort Peck Tribes Assiniboine-Sioux. Kirk was formerly the Secretary. The Vice-Chairman remained the same and is Ted Russette III, Chippewa Cree of Rocky Boy. The Treasurer also remained the same and is Leonard Two Teeth, Confederated Salish & Kootenai. The new Secretary is Gerald Gray, Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana. Gray was formerly the Chairman. There was a good laugh after the elections from Chairman Kirk, “We trade places Gerald.”

The RMTLC is governed by the Tribal Leaders Council, which is representative of the following Tribes: Blackfeet Tribe, Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Fort Peck Tribes Assiniboine-Sioux, Crow Tribe, Little Shell Tribe of Montana, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, Eastern Shoshone Tribal Council, Northern Arapaho Tribal Council, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and Piikani Nation. 

The mission of the RMTLC is to preserve our homelands, defend rights of the Indian Treaties with the United States, speak in a unified voice, offer support for our people, offer a forum in which to consult each other and enlighten each other about our peoples, and to otherwise promote the common welfare of all of the Indian Peoples of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.  The goal is to create an environment conducive to change within our communities by cultivating positive collaborative efforts with a sense of purpose by building strong, healthy societies where respect and honor is a way of life.  For more information visit  


Office of Public Affairs
Echo Marshall – Public Affairs Manager
Office: (208) 478-3818
Cell: (208) 589-8595