Montana Public Radio

Flathead Reservation

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.

A grizzly bear visiting a wire hair snag station near Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park (PD)

As bear activity is picking up across northwest Montana, grizzly bear managers are juggling the uncertain and unexpected impacts of COVID-19 on wild places.

On Friday, state, federal and tribal wildlife officials met remotely over Zoom for their semi-annual meeting. The group discussed how to manage the largest grizzly populations in the lower 48 states – the bears in and around Glacier National Park.

The state tribal-relations committee recently wrote a letter urging the public to respect the closure orders on reservations across Montana, which have been slower to reopen than elsewhere in the state. But science research continues to flourish on tribal lands, despite COVID-19-slowdowns and uncertainty.

This story is part of our series looking at the impact of the novel coronavirus on science in Montana.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact narrowly passed the state Legislature in 2015 after more than a decade of negotiation. It settles water rights in and around the Flathead Reservation.
David Wiley (CC-BY-2)

Two top officials in the Trump Administration offered support for one of the state’s final remaining tribal water agreements last week.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact narrowly passed the state Legislature in 2015 after more than a decade of negotiation. It settles water rights in and around the Flathead Reservation. Now, it needs to pass in the U.S. Congress.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced it’s awarding four tribal governments in Montana a collective $2.9 million to improve public safety efforts.

Over 100 paper bag luminaries lined the back of a conference room in Pablo, MT Aug. 27, 2019. The luminaries represent missing and murdered indigenous Montana women dating back to the early 1900s.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes kicked off a conference Tuesday on missing and murdered indigenous people (MMIP). The three-day event is aimed at raising awareness about the work being done to understand the scope of the issue both on the reservation and in the state.

This is the second conference the tribes have held this year since passing a resolution in January that created a local MMIP working group.


A program designed to address mental health awareness is coming to four high schools on the Flathead and the Rocky Boys Reservations this school year. It’s part of a co-institutional million-dollar grant between Montana State University Extension and Stone Child College.

Vanessa Fields, planning team leader for the National Bison Range, presenting at the public meeting in Polson May 1, 2019.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio


The latest step in a years-long process laying out the future of the National Bison Range Monday night dredged up questions of race and public land ownership that have lingered since a failed 2016 proposal to transfer the refuge to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. 

A sign at the National Bison Range in northwest Montana.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio


New possibilities for management of the National Bison Range north of Missoula are out, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comment on them at three meetings this week. 

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