The Montana Democratic Party is now the first state party in the country to establish a Democratic Tribal Committee. On Thursday, the Fort Peck Democratic Tribal committee elected Maria Vega and Lance Four Star to its leadership team. With their election, Maria Vega and Lance Four Star become the first ever Chair and Vice-Chair of a Democratic Tribal Committee.
“Establishing Democratic Tribal Committees is a core part of the Montana Democratic Party’s plan to lift Native voices and focus more work on the needs of Native populations,” said Donavon Hawk, Montana Democratic Party Treasurer. “This historic action guarantees that tribal members have a permanent and valued voice in Montana Democratic politics.”
Democratic Tribal Committees give Native Americans a seat at the table, an important decision-making role in the Democratic Party, and a louder voice in the political process. The Montana Democrats plan to establish eight tribal committees in total.
Maria Vega, a lifelong resident of Montana, is from the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes. Vega is a nursing student at Montana State University-Bozeman who hopes to continue her education as a Nurse Practitioner. Her grandmother is a nurse working at Indian Health Service in Fort Peck and her mother works at Wolf Point Trinity Hospital.
“Ensuring that the Fort Peck Tribe, and all Tribes in Montana, have a voice in the policies that impact our state is critically important,” Vega said.“I am honored to be the first in this role.”
Lance Four Star has lived in Fort Peck since 2003, and is currently a community organizer in the Fort Peck Nation. He is the father of three boys, Logan, Lucas, and Leon.