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Absaroka is a state created by the Congress of the Provisional United States at the request of President Hunkins in 1993. Upon ratification by a vote of the inhabitants of the twelve counties affected, the Apsáaloose Free State became an autonomous state with full rights to representation in the government of the United States. Statehood was made official on September 22, 1994.
The capital of Absaroka is New Castle (formerly Montana) and the largest city is Gillette (formerly Wyoming). Of the population taken in the 2020 census, approximately 14,000 are members of the Crow Nation. The government of the state, though republican, has an established dichotomy between the Crow and all non-Crow citizens. Though whites and other minorities have full rights, the tribal council is not open to anyone not of Crow blood with exceptions being made if a citizen is adopted by the tribe. The present Chairman of the Council is Cedric Black Eagle.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government and Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Law Enforcement & Military
The area that would become the state of Absaroka had been the home of American Indians for millennia, finally being the home of the Lakota and Dakota Indians in the time that it began to be hunted, then claimed and colonized, by the white man. The Dakota Territory was formed from parts of the Nebraska and Minnesota territories in 1861. By 1889, when it became the states of North and South Dakota, the territory had been reduced to roughly a rectangle diagonally divided by the Missouri River.
The area along the borders of the Dakotas ended up in the states of Montana, Wyoming, and a bit of Nebraska. The lands had been given to the Idaho and Wyoming territories in the 1860's. Throughout this period American Indian tribes had been fought and deported to various "reservations." Before this time, however, the Cheyenne tribe had occupied the "Powder River Country" in what was to become the US state of Montana. They had been forced there by the Lakota people over the course of their migration from the Great Lakes area. Other Cheyenne tribes were to settle in southeastern Montana and eastern Wyoming. These tribes, along with the Crow, would eventually sign peace treaties with the US government and move to reservations.
The Crow Tribe
more to come . . .
On September 25, 1983, the Crow tribe was as astonished as anyone when the bombs carpeted central Montana. Panic in nearby Billings had caused strained relationships between the Crow on the reservation and those in the city. However Chairman Donald Stewart soon had everything in control in Crow Agency.
Before morning on the 26th, contact had been made with the Montana government as it set up emergency headquarters in Billings.
The purpose of the state was quite clear when the Crow Nation (at the time headquartered near Billings, Montana) was offered a very generous incentive to move to the sparely populated border with the Republic of Lakota. When the Crow tribal leadership was told that they were to have authority in the twelve county area, stretched along the Montana and Wyoming borders with the Republic of Lakota, they saw a ten-fold increase in official territory. Other lesser tribes, such as the Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Dakota, Lakotah, and Nakota were also incorporated into the new nation.
The Crow leadership put out a call to all Crow in the U.S. to come to "the border"
where they could once more live "free." The other tribes also made similar calls. The population of the new state was then contacted, being offered the lands being vacated by the Crow, among other things, to relinquish the claim they had to the counties. The vote was not unanimous, of course, but it was substantially in favor of the change of government. Many of the people, especially from the cities, moved into the adjoining states, where jobs and land awaited them. Others remained, seeing the change as the political maneuver that it was, and continued life as usual.
Elections of 1994
The late 1990's saw the tribal government work to rebuild the settlements and cities that had been heavily damaged during the Lakotah War. While initial depopulation of the region, as white residents fled west to avoid Lakotah war raids, didn't cause any issues as new residents moved to the state, it was quickly recognized by both state and federal authorities that the long term economic development and stability of the state was predicated on restoring roads and the larger communities.
The turn of the new millennia saw Absaroka improve statewide communication as telegraph and phone lines were strung from New Castle and Gillette to Casper, Torrington, and Billings and a new radio station opened in Gillette. However economic conditions were poor as the state bordered Lakotah, which it was only permitted to have limited trade with, and both mining and oil extraction were limited as companies struggled to repair or replace equipment as it broke down or wore out. Additionally, tourism had more or less halted as violence along the border with Lakotah drove tourists away to more secured sites in Montana and Wyoming.
In 2003 when the Republic of Lakotah requested admission into the NAU, state officials in Absaroka pressed for US and NAU authorities to accept its candidacy. They felt it would not only stabilize the border, which had been fraught with crime as non-Lakotah fled the country and rogue groups of bandits preyed on the often unarmed refugees, but would also bring additional economic development, and additional Amerindian voices into the NAU.
With the formalized entry of the Republic of Lakotah occurring in 2004, crime along the border dropped substantially as the Absaroka State Police and Lakotah Tribal Police both cooperated to crack down on criminal activities. Other agreements were made between the American and Lakotah governments to permit Dakotians and Lakotahians access to the Black Hills in Lakotah.
Economic conditions improved as imported equipment from Canada and Utah permitted the resumption of mining and oil extraction in the state. Tourism increased as the NAU repaired train lines and rail service resumed throughout the member states.
When discussion in Torrington turned to the possible shift from a provisional status to declaring itself the formal successor to the United States, the tribal and state government in Absaroka expressed concerns that the special status of the state and Kootenai would be disregarded as many historical treaties with Amerindians had been in the past by the United States government.
However, federal authorities reassured the state leaders that the status of Absaroka and Kootenai would not change and both could exist with the current governments intact.
After the ratification of the Constitution, Absaroka saw a minor amount of protests from the Native American population who felt their concerns were being ignored and others who believed unifying Absaroka with Lakotah was the only way to guarantee long term independence from decisions makers in Torrington.
Nearly simultaneously, discussions in Billings turned to the request from Dinétah to join the NAU, which Absaroka strongly supported as another tribal run government improved its influence in the organization.
Economic conditions in the state continued to improve as the United States reopened Newport, Oregon on the Pacific as its primary port city. While much of the mineral and oil deposits in the state were consumed domestically or within the NAU as a whole, it opened the Pacific market to the state.
Absaroka has seen slower, yet continuous growth. The economies of Absaroka and Wyoming have increased as workers from Sheridan, Wyoming enter Gillette, Absaroka to work in mine sites and on oil platforms.
Absaroka covers for counties in the southeastern corner of pre-Doomsday Montana and three counties in the northeastern section of pre-Doomsday Wyoming. It covers the Montana counties of: Carter, Custer, Fallon, and Powder River and the Wyoming counties of Campbell, Crook, and Weston.
The Bear Lodge Mountains are located in the eastern side of the state alongside Devil's Tower which are protected as part of the Black Hills National Park. The Missouri Butte also encompasses parts of the eastern side of the state as well. The northern part of the state includes Medicine Rock State Park.
Adjacent States and Nations
Absaroka is one of two states with a majority non-white population. The 2020 census recorded a Amerindian population of 23,958 divided between the Assiniboine, Crow, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota people, with the Crow composing over half the Amerindian population.
Government and Politics
Absaroka alongside Kootenai has an unusual government system, described as a limited democracy with certain legal rights limited to members of the Amerindian tribes that reside within the state. However, non-tribal members are granted a select number of delegates to the state legislature. Additionally, seperate courts are designated for non-tribal crimes.
The executive branch is headed by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, who are considered to be equivalent to governors in other US states.
The Absaroka legislature is a unicameral body composed of the Council, with members referred to as "senators" as a matter of courtesy. There are 20 members on the Council, with five seats reserved for non-tribal members.
Absaroka has a parallel judiciary system with one court system arranged for members of the various Amerindian tribal members in the state and the second for non-members with both court systems final appeal going to the Absaroka Supreme Court. The pre-Doomsday method of trying in federal court was abolished to avoid congesting the already limited federal judiciary system. The Crow Court System is composed of Crow Tribal Courts (General jurisdiction), Crow Juvenile Court, and the Absaroka Supreme Court. The Absaroka Court System is composed of Absaroka District Courts and the Absaroka Supreme Court.
The economy of Absaroka is primarily built around mining and oil drilling as well as tourism. Timber has seen minor growth as the state harvested wood to rebuild homes and businesses, but in recent years it has slowed to protect old growth forests.
Law Enforcement & Military