Montana Public Radio

Flathead Reservation

The Mission Mountains loom over farm fields and a barn on the Flathead Indian Reservatio in northwest Montana.
Aaron Bolton

About three quarters of Montanans have broadband access. But that access is less prevalent in rural parts of Montana, which are home to the state’s seven Indian reservations. Federal coronavirus relief funding is helping some tribes to build their own wireless broadband networks, shrinking the stark digital divide on reservations.

Lake County/CSKT COVID-19 Cases By Age, August 10, 2020.
Lake County Public Health

Employees of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes went back to work Monday as a stay-at-home order on the reservation was lifted. There are still restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The CSKT Tribal Council decided back in late June that the stay-at-home order would be lifted July 13, but a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout Lake County following the July 4 holiday delayed the rollback.

On Sunday afternoon, a wildfire broke out in a rural area north of Laurel, near Park City in Stillwater County. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for Benedict Gulch Road and Falling Star Road, and evacuations are in progress.

The growth of a large wildfire on the Flathead Indian Reservation has slowed. The Magpie Rock Fire near Dixon has burned 3,167 acres as of Saturday morning, and is now 30% contained. 

A large wildfire on the Flathead Indian Reservation continues to grow. The Magpie Rock Fire near Dixon has burned 3,100 acres as of Friday afternoon.

The Clear Creek Fire burning on the Flathead Indian Reservation near Perma, MT, July 21, 2020.
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Division of Fire

Fire crews, 9 engines and 14 overhead units are trying to control the 5,000 acre Buffalo Fire burning southwest of Broadus in Powder River County. It took less than four hours yesterday for that fire to explode from 200 acres to 2,500. The fire is so explosive it created its own supercell with its own smoke plume and lightning.

The Clear Creek Fire near Perma, MT, July 21, 2020.
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Division of Fire

A 20-man crew along with air-support is attacking the 345 acre Clear Creek Fire on the Flathead Indian Reservation near Perma, MT. The fire is 60 percent contained. The incident is still under investigation, but is believed to have been started by rock quarry equipment. No structures are threatened. Weather in the area is expected to be hot and windy with gusts up to 20 miles per hour in the afternoon.

Linda Watson shuffling through Little Shell Tribe enrollment applications.
Kevin Trevellyan / Yellowstone Public Radio

Roughly six months ago, the federal government officially recognized the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians as a sovereign nation. It was national news then. But what does it mean now for the members and descendants of Little Shell? Nine students from the University of Montana School of Journalism spent a semester reporting on the impact of recognition on what has long been considered Montana’s “landless tribe.” This story is part of the student-produced series, Project Little Shell.

A social-distancing sign at a grocery story.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are lifting the Flathead Indian Reservation’s shelter-in-place order mid-July. The order was first issued in late March, when novel coronavirus cases were detected in the state.

Screenshot - Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes' Tribal Health website announces youth education social media campaign on COVID-19
Screenshot captured 06-16-20 at https://myemail.constantcontact.com/KIID-TRUTH--CSKT-INNOVATIVE-CAMPAIGN-LAUNCHES.html?soid=1129174657753&aid=RLn0iXVoFmA / Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes' Tribal Health

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes launched a social media campaign last week aimed at local kids, who tribal leaders fear aren’t taking the risk of COVID-19 seriously.

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