TESTIMONY OF GERALD AND BEVERLY CUVILLIER
(This testimony was not given in its entirety due to time constraints of the hearing in Helena on 04/11/15)
Mr. Chairman and committee members
We are here to voice our opposition to the Water Compact. We feel this is nothing more than a power grab by the federal government. If the federal government controls all of the water, they control all of us because without water we will be slaves to the tyranny of an out of control federal government.
We address this next comment to the Tribes. Be careful of what you ask for. We feel that you are being used as a pawn by the federal government to gain control of all of the water . I ask you to consider for a moment who it was that opened your reservation lands to homesteading. Was it the federal government, the state government or the tribal government? Who was it the seized a large portion of your reservation lands and created the National Bison Range and to this day prevents you from managing it? If you think that once the federal government gets control of all of the water and they will let you manage it, I would direct your attention to the last two times they took over part of your reservation. The federal government was supposed to hold this land in trust for you. How is that held in trust working out for you?
The control of the water belongs with the state. I have read this Constitution from cover to cover several times this past week. I find nothing in this Constitution that gives this power to the federal government or the tribes except the water on the reservation and they should not be able to control water off of the reservation. I keep coming back to this one little paragraph. The powers not delegated to the United States, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. The Tenth Amendment ladies and Gentlemen. I find no such power for the federal government to hold any water rights in trust for anybody. Remember, once freedom is lost, it is lost forever and we cannot get it back. If you want to give up your freedoms individually, you may do so, but please do not give up mine. The blood that has been lost to gain and hold our freedoms would flood this city. Please do not let this have been in vain.
Why now after over two hundred years does the federal government want to gain control of the water. We have gotten along just fine until now without their intervention.
You were elected to protect our rights collectively, please vote against this flawed compact and return the water adjudication back to the state where it belongs.
Gerald Cuvillier Beverly Cuvillier
Sanders County Democrat Central Committee Committeeman and Committeewoman