|Blackfeet Asks Support for Tribal 8(a) Program||| Print ||
|Friday, 18 September 2009 16:39|
Blackfeet Nation Asks Support of Lawmakers
For Tribal 8(a) Program
Text of letter to Senators Baucus and Tester and Congressman Rehberg
Browning, MT — September 18th, 2009 — The Blackfeet Nation recently launched a new contracting arm specializing in Information Technology and Professional Services. The company is called Chief Mountain Technologies LLC and is currently undergoing SBA 8(a) and HUBZone certification.
On July 16, 2009, Senator McCaskill of Missouri chaired hearings with a clear bias and intention of trying to limit aspects of the 8(a) program that apply to tribes. We wrote our Senators and Congressman to ask for their support in keeping the SBA Tribal 8(a) program the major success it has proven to be. The text of the letter follows:
Dear Senator Baucus,
I write to tell you we have recently created a company called Chief Mountain Technologies LLC. The new company will pursue 8(a) and HUBZone federal and state contracts in Information Technology and Professional Services. Now that our neighbor’s very successful tribal 8(a), S&K Technologies, has graduated from the program, we thought you would like to know that you will once again have a tribally-owned 8(a) in your district in the same line of work.
The new company is expected to create a significant number of jobs for Blackfeet members both on and off the reservation, as well as providing major new revenue streams to help fund programs. We very much appreciate your assistance in helping Pikuni Industries secure the Radiance Technologies contract and hope you will help us secure business for Chief Mountain Technologies LLC when opportunities arise.
We write for another reason, as well: to ask your assistance in urging Senator McCaskill to stop trying to harm the tribal 8(a) program that is an essential economic development tool for so many tribes, including the Blackfeet. For her to speak of “loopholes” suggests she doesn’t understand that this was a deliberate and well-conceived federal policy, enacted in 1986 to recognize and honor historical obligations to one of America’s most socially and economically disadvantaged groups.
The tribal 8(a) program is doing exactly what it was meant to do: provide tribes with the large-scale business opportunities necessary to help lift entire societies up from the lowest depths of poverty.
Perhaps she needs to be reminded that in 2007 just 2% of sole-source contracts were awarded to tribes --a total of $3.2 billion dollars. In her home state of Missouri, Boeing alone was awarded $8 billion dollars in sole source contracts. She didn’t complain about that.
31,000 jobs have been created by the tribal 8(a) program since it was enacted. For the Blackfeet, with 70% unemployment, jobs are everything and we intend to find them and bring them home with our new 8(a) venture.
Thank you for your past efforts and your help going forward.
Willie A. Sharp. Jr.
About the Blackfeet: With 16,000 enrolled members, we are the largest Indian tribe in Montana and one of the largest tribes in the United States. Our rugged, picturesque 1.5 million acre (3,000 square mile) reservation in Montana has a population of about 10,000, including 8,500 enrolled Blackfeet and several hundred Blackfeet descendents. The other 7,500 Tribal members are scattered all over the world. Our largest town and seat of government is Browning (population 3,500, including surrounding areas). Other towns include Heart Butte, Blackfoot, Starr School, Babb, Saint Mary, Kiowa, and East Glacier. Visit our website at www.blackfeetnation.com