In a September 24 article The Missoulian revealed that Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder (R-Thompson Falls) is slated to appear at the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance conference in Kalispell on Saturday. Fielder’s scheduled appearance provides an example of the support CERA has garnered from a handful of far-right state and local elected officials.
This is not the first time Senator Fielder has lent her name to anti-tribal causes. As the Montana Human Rights Network (MHRN) documented, during the 2013 legislative session, Fielder spoke against the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ water compact on behalf of the Sanders Natural Resource Council (see Right-Wing Opposition to CSKT Water Compact).
Fielder’s campaign material from 2012 described her as member of SNRC. Another individual active in SNRC is John Trochmann, a onetime Aryan Nations supporter and founder of the Militia of Montana. SNRC was formed to promote “coordination,” a euphemism for the far right’s recurring goal of devolving political power to county government (see Recycled County Supremacy).
Fielder has also played an active role in the recent effort in the West to appropriate and end public lands as we know them; aligning herself with well know anti-environmental entities like American Lands Council and American Stewards of Liberty.
The Missoulian article also highlights Elaine Willman’s inability to effectively distance CERA from its radical anti-Indian agenda. Attempting to deny the group’s racism documented in a report by MHRN and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR), Willman told the paper, “My own opinion is that tribal governments have outlived their usefulness…All citizens should be treated equally.” This echoes the tired language used to promote CERA’s goals of terminating Indian tribes and abrogating treaties (see Revolutionary War for Citizens of Montana). These goals are the essence of organized anti-Indianism in the United States.
Senator Fielder’s agreement to speak at CERA’s event lends the credibility of elected office to the group’s racist ideas and aims. It can only support bigotry toward Indian people. And it is an affront to the inherent tribal sovereignty and treaty rights long-upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
MHRN and IREHR urge all concerned about human and civil rights to contact Senator Fielder and let her know that her appearance at CERA’s event is not acceptable.
Just say NO to anti-Indian bigotry and let Senator Fielder know that she should too!
Senator Fielder can be contacted by phone at (406) 210-5944 or by email at email@example.com="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" data-color-override="false" data-hover-color-override="false" data-hover-text-color-override="#fff">Button Text