Campbell Elected to Montana Legislature

Feb 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 16-3: Indigenizing Education, Tribal College News

A vice president from Fort Peck Community College, Dr. Margarett Campbell, was elected to the Montana State Legislature last November. Currently the vice president for community services at Fort Peck, Campbell (Assiniboine) was one of the founders of Fort Belknap College and served as the president there from 1986 to 1996. She was the president of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium from 1993 to 1996.

Campbell has a doctorate degree in education. Her campaign relied in part upon her agricultural background (growing up on a cattle ranch) and upon her opposition to cyanide leach mining, a technique that degraded water on the Fort Belknap Reservation. She also relied upon her bipartisan experience in the early 1990s chairing the U.S. Department of Agriculture committee that developed legislation for the tribal colleges and universities 1994 land grant law.

Campbell joins seven other American Indian state legislators, at least two of whom are also associated with tribal colleges. Rep. Carol Juneau is a former president of Blackfeet Community College. Rep. Norma Bixby has served on the board for the Chief Dull Knife College and for the college’s foundation. Montana reportedly has more Indians in the legislature than any other state.

Some other tribal college personnel are involved in state legislatures in other states. In South Dakota, Paul Valandra, an employee of Sinte Gleska University, was re-elected to the South Dakota House. In North Dakota, Dennis Bercier at Turtle Mountain Community College is serving his second term as a state senator. He plans to run again in 2005.

In a tribal election in Montana, Northern Cheyenne tribal members elected Eugene Little Coyote to be the new tribal president. Little Coyote is a graduate of Chief Dull Knife College and a former recipient of an American Indian College Fund scholarship. At the age of 32, he is one of the youngest presidents ever elected on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. His grandfather was 31 when he was elected president, according to the Billings Gazette.

NOTE: A correction to this article appeared in the Summer 2005 issue.  It states that this article “neglect[s] to mention Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy, who was recently re-elected to the Montana House of Representatives.  Windy Boy is also a tribal councilman for the Chippewa Cree Tribe and a member of the Stone Child College Board of Regents.”

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