University of Colorado at Boulder
BMP of Oil and Gas Development

Chippewa Cree Laws

The Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation is a relatively small tribe; in 2005 the BIA reported that there were 5,656 tribal members, 3,109 of whom lived on the reservation. The Rocky Boy’s Reservation was established by executive order in north central Montana on September 7, 1916. The reservation spans 130,000 acres. None of the land has been allotted, and almost all of the land is held in trust for Tribal members.

The Chippewa Cree Business Committee is the governing body of the Tribe and equivalent to the tribal council. On the Business Committee, the eight council members and chairman are elected at large and each council member serves four years on staggered terms.

Law and Order Code

Title VIII of the Law and Order Code deals with tribal resources. Relevant portions include:

Chapter 7. Oil and Gas Resources

7.1 Purpose - The purpose of this chapter is to protect Tribal lands and revenues in connection with oil and gas exploration and development.

7.2 Royalties - The business committee, under its Constitution and By-laws, may negotiate royalty percentages, and may approve or veto any sale of mineral resources. Royalty and rental provisions in oil and gas leases shall not be modified in any way by transfer of lease obligations between companies, individuals, partnerships, or corporations engaged in oil and gas development without prior approval of the Business Committee, acting upon recommendations of the Tribal Attorney and the U.S. Geological Survey.

7.3 Severance Taxes - The Resources Sub-Committee, upon approval by the Business Committee, may impose a severance tax, or any other tax, on oil and gas operations within the Rocky Boy’s Reservation. This tax may be in addition to royalties and other payments received.

7.4 Enforcement - All oil or gas leaseholders operating on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation must furnish, on demand from the Business Committee, or a Tribal Court order, any record, documents, or other material concerning production or operations on the Reservation.

7.6 Mitigation - The Sub-Committee may require the mitigation of any impact caused by the oil and gas activity or production.

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