Thank you for printing my letter on Oct. 10. However, your comment that the Billings Gazette "stands by its story" is most unfortunate as it detracts from the point I was making in my letter and phone call to your reporter. I do not deny that the detainment of tribal members occurred in July 2013. However, my point was that the Fort Peck tribal leadership did not order such detainment through formal Tribal Council action, Tribal Council committee action or through directives to law enforcement. Further, the BIA, after completing the internal investigation took no corrective action and did not transmit the report to tribal leadership for review and response. Upon learning of the report in 2016 through the media, the tribal leadership could not take action due to the pending litigation.
Your original story and your comment insinuate that the leadership of the Fort Peck Tribes directed the detainment, which is absolutely false. Further, my point was that The Billings Gazette did not attempt to directly interview persons involved with this matter resulting in inaccuracies in the original article. I question the integrity of The Billings Gazette reporting as determining the accuracy before publication does not appear a priority.
The Billings Gazette has sensationalized an event that occurred four years ago in a manner that disparages the Fort Peck Tribal leadership. The Billings Gazette does not appear interested in current positive tribal leadership actions and decisions but will readily print negative news even if it is four years old. Interestingly, the articles appear two weeks before our tribal elections.
Fort Peck Tribal chairman