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Tribal infrastructure gets a boost

Montana tribes to receive infrastructure funding from Congress

Later this year, Montana tribes will receive the first round of federal funding for water and sewer projects on tribal land. This funding will come from Congress’ bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last year.

Montana tribes will receive just shy of $2 million this year for construction of new wells and lift stations, as well as other improvements for tribal water and sewer systems. Projects on the Crow, Blackfeet, Flathead, Fort Belknap and Northern Cheyenne reservations will be funded this year.

Tribes across the nation will receive a total of $3.5 billion dollars for water and sewer projects by 2025, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Blackfeet Nation has been particularly hampered by outdated water and sewer infrastructure. The tribe has been unable to build a new drug treatment center and other sorely needed services because Browning’s water and sewer system is maxed out. During this first wave of funding, the tribe isn’t receiving federal funding to update that system.

CSKT and Lake County to collaborate on infrastructure projects

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and Lake County announced Thursday that the two governments will work to jointly fund road and infrastructure projects.

Both tribal leaders and county commissioners passed resolutions that say the two governments, whose jurisdictions overlap, will collaborate to repair and maintain roads, bridges and culverts.

In the past, the CSKT helped fund county road projects. The new agreement will include joint efforts to secure funding, supply labor and conduct long-term transportation planning.

Coordinating efforts will improve transportation infrastructure for all residents and save taxpayer dollars, tribal and county officials said.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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