Roadside-style sign with the words "Elections Ahead"

Montana advocates party like it's Election Day

© iStock - gguy44
Mark Moran

(Big Sky Connection) Indigenous voting activists are throwing parties around Montana this weekend to encourage citizens to vote, but especially to encourage Native Americans to get involved in the democratic process.

Western Native Voice is working with Montana Conservation Voters to stress the importance of voting in next week's local elections. Adam Beaves-Fisher, deputy director for government and political relations, said it is important for all citizens to be democratically active, but it is especially essential for Montana's indigenous people to cast their ballots and use their voice because they have historically been disenfranchised.

"It's important for Native communities to be a part of our democratic process," he said, "to be able to create the future and be part of the decision making process that affects them directly."

The events will be held Saturday at the Big Horn Resort in Billings and Sunday at the Civic Center in Great Falls. The parties start at 4:00 p.m. both days.

While voting is a serious issue and a civic responsibility, Beaves-Fisher said the parties are designed to give people something fun to do while they make community contacts and learn about the democratic process. Parties, he said, are not necessarily associated with get out the vote efforts.

"We'll be having guest speakers, a free dinner," he said. "We'll have prizes, games. We'll also have local organizations attendees can connect with to hear about other opportunities to get involved."

Organizers are still looking for volunteers to help at both events. Elections Day is next Tuesday.