Council Dispatch #137                  January 12, 2023


Personnel Department


  • There was discussion on whether to modify the Temporary COVID-19 Pandemic Leave Policy to provide up to 40 hours COVID-19 leave per employee, with the ability to donate up to 20 hours, for calendar year 2023. Employees will have to use their PTO if the policy is not retroactive. Departments have not submitted any personnel action forms since COVID-19 leave is not available this year.  Council took action to approve the resolution modifying the Temporary COVID-19 Pandemic Leave Policy by approving option 1 to extend the leave through calendar year 2023.


Tribal Council


  • Bing Matt discussed a letter the pow wow committee received from the Director of Administrative Services containing bills in the amount of $1,940.00 for the RV dump and sewer costs at the pow wow grounds. The pow wow committee is a volunteer committee. The Maintenance Department should have taken care of it. The maintenance work at the grounds needs to be done prior to the next pow wow. The only improvements done so far was the carpeting being installed.  Council talked about the need for the executive team to keep the council updated on issues. Chairman McDonald would like to have a schedule of improvements that will be done at the pow wow grounds so they can be tracked.


  • Carole Lankford informed council there is a homeless lady living in the field in Arlee and her boyfriend lives in a trailer. They went to take a shower at the Fitness Center, but the staff would not allow the boyfriend to take a shower. He went there again and the same situation happened. The Director of Tribal Member Services is following up on the matter.


  • Carole Lankford informed council of an individual that needs assistance with getting her power turned back on. Carole asked that the staff follow up. Jim Malatare provided the information to the Director of Tribal Member Services. The individual lives in Evaro and needs her power turned back on. She gets her power from Missoula Electric and he does not know the amount that is owed to the power company.


  • Council discussed a request from a nontribal member to be allowed to use the showers at the Fitness Center. The Tribal Health Department has an internal policy to charge nontribal members to use the Fitness Centers. Carole Lankford did not think the policy was valid since it was not approved by the council. 


Bureau of Indian Affairs


  • Craig Adams, Shane Hendrickson, and Cheryl Finley met with council for a meet and greet. Hendrickson was hired as the new Superintendent. Mr. Adams will be vacating his post as Acting Superintendent now that the position has been filled. Mr. Adams will follow up on the appraisals at the Portland office.


Natural Resources Department


  • Council approved by resolution submission of an invasive species grant from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The funding will be used for aerial herbicide application to curtail Ventenada spread and restore native bunchgrass species to improve Bison Range rangeland habitat.


Financial Management


  • Council received an overview of the CSKT ranking of priorities for fiscal year 2025 Indian Affairs budget formulation and requested approval to submit the rankings to the Northwest Regional Office. The deadline for submission is January 13, 2023.  Council took action to approve submission of the rankings.


  • Council reached consensus to submit a nomination application for the Honoring Nations 2023 All-Stars award to the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. The HPAIED invited CSKT to nominate itself for the award for its management of trust resources. The deadline to submit the nomination application is January 31, 2023.


Early Childhood Services


  • Council received orientation on the Early Childhood Services program.


Salish Kootenai College Board of Directors


  • Council received orientation on Salish Kootenai College.


Division of Fire


  • Jim Durglo expressed his support for George Waters. There was information provided to the Inter-Tribal Timber Council about the workforce portion of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that has a pay incentive of $20,000.00 or 50% of a firefighter’s salary as a recruitment benefit. The statute says those eligible for firefighter retirement and as tribes compact/contract federal programs that provision is not included in those and our firefighters are not entitled to that compensation package. Letters containing our concerns were sent to the Secretary a couple of months ago, and there has been no response.  George stated that is blatant racism to exclude the tribal firefighters. George has helped the Tribes in the past and he is not afraid to speak up. Funding for the tribal firefighters will be included in the 2024 budget cycle, but there probably will not be any retro pay associated with it.


S&K Gaming


  • Dan Hansen met with council for a meet and greet. Bryon Miller resigned as the Chief Executive Officer and the board appointed Mr. Hansen as the interim Chief Executive Officer while the vacancy is being advertised. Dan had worked as a consultant for S&K Gaming for three years before being appointed to the S&K Gaming Board of Directors.  Dan was then hired as a Chief Executive Officer for a gaming facility and had to resign from the board. He was later hired as the General Manager for the Gray Wolf Peak Casino. S&K Gaming will have a presence at the legislative reception. The corporation was asked to create a table and will have some materials available at the reception.


Tribal Lands Department


  • Mark Couture discussed the house located in Pablo that will be used as a temporary location for the staff and residents of Second Circle. The repairs were made to maintain heat in the house. The department did not have time to follow the procurement policy. Council took action to approve the request for a waiver of the procurement policy to authorize the purchase of a furnace in the amount of $3,029.00.


  • The staff followed up on the fencing for Nkwusm. Lands had been waiting for a third bid as required by the procurement policy, but only two bids were received. Council took action to approve the request to enter into a sole source contract with Ferrier Fencing. 


  • Council received an update on the Indian Agriculture Council trip. Brandy Bigby and Kayleen Howard were the youth selected to attend the conference. Pete White attended the caucuses as a representative of the region and he was named the vice-chairman. The caucus brings forth issues that will go to the IAC to be discussed in Washington, DC at the policymaking level and how to better serve tribal producers. They looked at the upcoming Farm Bill and discussed streamlined access to USDA programs and what the Inflation Act can do for Indian country and tribal producers.


NOTE:  The official Council Minutes will contain more complete details about lengthy discussions and should be considered the official record of Council. Dispatches are written from notes taken live and may occasionally contain partial information, over-simplified characterizations or an occasional error. Council reviews and corrects the draft minutes before approving as the official record.  Comments (both affirmations and concerns) are part of change and are expected and encouraged. Along with any specific comments, please also share what you would like to hear more about in upcoming communications. The email address for comments is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..