CSKT chairman praises Montanans for respectful discourse

CSKT chairman Vernon Finley delivered the State of the Tribal Nations address Wednesday at the Montana Capitol. (Freddy Monares/UM Legislative News Service)

By Freddy Monares/UM Legislative News Service

HELENA – Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Chairman Vernon Finley asked legislators at his State of the Tribal Nations address Wednesday to remember their collective history. He said he’s proud that despite the national discord, Montanans are able to shake hands and disagree.

“Even though we have extreme right and extreme left in our state, in the final analysis common sense usually prevails,” Finley said in the House chambers.

He asked legislators to keep history in mind as they continue to deliberate during the legislative session. He referred to the state as a place where opposites are married.

“Being able to shake hands with one another and disagree in a healthy way is a trademark of Montana that I’m always proud of,” Finley said.

Finley praised Gov. Steve Bullock for building his Cabinet with the tribal population in mind. He also praised the leaders of the state for standing up to a proposed armed march of white supremacists in Whitefish.

“The CSKT Council was very proud to join with them in denouncing hate groups,” Finley said.

Freddy Monares is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

“Even though we have extreme right and extreme left in our state, in the final analysis common sense usually prevails,” Finley said in the House chambers.