MTPR

Salish & Kootenai Tribes

Counselor Tara Penny helps Sarah Still Smoking identify aquatic life at day two of Native Tech Camp in Ronan on June 12, 2018.
Nicky Ouellet

On the bank of Spring Creek in Ronan, a half-dozen teenagers eye the water dubiously as camp counselors fit them with hip-high waders.

This is Native Tech Camp, which gives young tribal members a week of exposure to fields of work they might not otherwise see on the reservation. The free week-long camp is open to all middle and high school students from any tribe. It’s taught by professors at Salish Kootenai College and experts in coding, game design, cyber security, data analytics and other occupations that use technology in unexpected ways.

As a proposed water compact involving the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes moves closer to consideration in the Montana Legislature, we’re talking to people on all sides of the proposal.

Today we’ll hear from Mark Blasdel of Kalispell, who is leaving his post as Speaker of the House to take a seat in the state Senate. Blasdel opposed the compact that died in the last legislature, and he says he’ll oppose the latest version as well.