The Crow Tribe has shut down a $15 million federal project to install high-speed Internet on the reservation.
The tribe issued a cease and desist order to contractor Nemont Telephone Cooperative at the end of May. It cited the need for a historic-preservation permit and demanded that historic-preservation monitors be present at all future construction.
Emerson Bull Chief is the tribe's historic-preservation officer.
He tells the Billings Gazette that he's concerned subcontractors won't properly handle items of historical interest they may encounter on the reservation.
Representatives of Nemont and the U.S. Agriculture Department said they'll honor the tribe's order.
But USDA said in a statement that historic preservation steps have been taken and the tribe is seeking more money for work not included in the original project contract.