Friday, July 27, 2018 - Former Trump attorney and 'fixer' Michael Cohen reportedly ready to tell Mueller that candidate Donald Trump knew about the Trump

Tower Russia meeting in advance. Also on the Friday rundown: 300,000 petitioners call on Microsoft to end contract with ICE, and a judge considers an

injunction to stop 3-D gun blueprints online.

        

 

Thursday, July 26, 2018 - GOP members of the U.S. House file articles of impeachment against Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein. Also on the Thursday

rundown: health advocates cheer as the feds reverse course on health-care payments, and NASA is using Chesapeake Bay pollution research for

satellites. 

Big Sky Connection

 

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Eric Tegethoff

July 26, 2018

HELENA, Montana - The Montana Human Rights Network says groups opposed to Native American rights should be labeled as hate groups. In a follow-up to its 2000 study "Drumming Up Resentment: the Anti-Indian Movement in Montana," the network released a report saying such groups deserve the designation "from national organizations, the media, and the American public." 


Travis McAdam, research director with the network, said organizations may be evading designation as hate groups because the movement typically is localized, and many states do not have a strong tribal nations presence; thus the groups stay out of the national spotlight. And he said in Montana, anti-Native American groups tend to mobilize when tribes take action to assert their legal sovereignty.

"Then, a lot of times you see this organized backlash where you start to see both established anti-Indian groups and then sometimes more kind of local-based opposition pop up," McAdam said.

He said Montana groups such as the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance fit the Southern Poverty Law Center's definition of a hate group by attacking or maligning a class of people. The Alliance says it isn't a hate group and its goal is to defend the constitutional rights of both native and non-native people.

McAdam said a lack of understanding about treaty rights and tribal sovereignty can make it easier for anti-Native American groups to organize. He said for many Native Americans, treaties offer legal precedence for communities to stand up for their sovereignty, lands, and culture.

"The tribes are saying, 'Yes, treaty rights are real and they continue to carry legitimate legal weight,'" he said. "And the anti-Indian movement is saying, 'Well, you know, that's kind of inconvenient for us.'"

McAdam said this movement often paints Native Americans as existing only in the past, obscuring the reality of tribes as they exist today and making it harder to discuss some of the modern challenges American Indian communities face.


 

     

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - President Trump’s latest defense: Don’t believe your lying eyes. Also on the Wednesday rundown: a $12 billion aid

package for farmers announced on eve of Trump's visit to Iowa; and we'll let you know why Michigan scored an 'F' for renewable energy. 



 

Big Sky Connection

 

 

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Eric Tegethoff

July 24. 2018

HELENA, Montana - Some U.S. military veterans want Congress to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that protects access to public lands and recreation that is set to expire at the end of September.

The Vet Voice Foundation says the program helps keep opportunities like hiking and hunting open to everyone and is especially important for veterans, who use the land as a place to recover after their service.

In Montana, the LWCF has protected renowned fly-fishing spots like the Smith River, parts of the Greater Yellowstone region and more.

Josh Werkheiser, a retired U.S. Army paratrooper who lives in Montana, says the outdoors keep him mentally grounded.

"When I'm out there it's finding a new center, I guess is how some people have put it," he says. "Like there's not a care in the world. All of the anxiety's gone. It's just you and your surroundings and there's no need to worry about what's going to happen next because hey, you're in God's hands right now."

The program receives funding from royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas offshore. Funds are also used to build playgrounds, trails, parks, swimming pools, urban bike paths, soccer fields, and other facilities. More than 41,000 projects have been supported by the fund since its creation in 1965.

Werkheiser says it will be a dark day if LWCF isn't reauthorized. He hopes other veterans will be able to feel the rejuvenating effects of public lands in the future.

"I'm all for taking fellow veterans out into the mountains," he adds. "Get them out on the water, do some fly fishing. Get them away from society so they can experience what I experience and give them some time to heal and process everything, and I think without that we're doing an injustice."

Funds have also helped preserve historic military sites, battlefields and monuments. Montana has received more than $400 million from the program since its inception more than 50 years ago.