- Associated Press - Friday, June 21, 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A Montana tribe is a step closer to getting federal recognition after language was added into a U.S. defense spending bill that lawmakers say is must-pass legislation.

The Billings Gazette reported Thursday that recognition of the Little Shell Band of Chippewa Cree Indians was included in the latest iteration of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester says this bill is the best chance at federal recognition that the tribe has ever had.

The tribe has sought recognition for more than 70 years. The tribe has about 5,400 members.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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