Council Dispatch #162     May 2, 2023


Tribal Council


  • Chairman McDonald announced there will be no afternoon council session on May 23 because the council members will be meeting with the Missoula County Commissioners.


  • Council took action to waive the personnel policy and extend Wain Lefthand’s leave share until he has completed his disability insurance or returns to work.


  • Bing Matt made a motion to pay out the Salazar money to the membership. Greg Spahr, Financial Management, clarified that the dividends received from the tribal corporations are already earmarked and allocated to specific budgets in the current fiscal year. The interest earnings budget funds Nkwusm, Kootenai Language Program, Salish Adult Language, Communications, contingency for emergency, Pow Wows and Celebrations, donations, Salish Language Conference, Kootenai Language Conference, Two Eagle River School supplement, Get Out The Vote, and Bison shipping/processing, for a total of $2,743,350.00. If the funding was taken away from these programs, other program budgets would need to be cut. The motion failed by a vote of 4 for and 6 opposed.


  • Martin Charlo reminded council the Salish Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee Elders meeting is scheduled for tomorrow.


  • Jennifer Finley gave a trip report on the Tourism Conference she attended in Helena last Monday and Tuesday. They talked about reconstituting the Flathead Reservation Tourism Committee to promote our own tourism.


  • Ellie Bundy informed council that Salish Kootenai College is hosting a 5K Run/Walk this Saturday, May 6, to support MMIP. Funds raised will help fund the MMIP victim assistance fund. Everyone is encouraged to wear red in solidarity. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. in the SKC Gym parking lot, and the closing ceremony will be at 12:30 p.m. 


  • Carole Lankford gave a report on the spay and neuter clinic that took place last Saturday. There were a few issues but there was a good turnout. The organization is fundraising and has raised $6,000 but still needs $7,500. Carole would like the Tribes to donate $1,000. She reached out to several entities for donations.


Financial Management


  • Council approved a resolution authorizing the establishment of a new checking account for Third Party Collections at Glacier Bank. The CSKT will deposit $5 million into the account and the funds will be FDIC covered and earn a competitive interest rate.


  • Len TwoTeeth requested a status report on dump fees. He asked if a solution was found and if there are dumpsters in the homesites with a dumping schedule. Greg Spahr advised he is working with Tom Johnson to get a list of the elders. Greg needs to follow up with Jody about the homesite dumpsters. Len wants there to be dumpsters in Elmo. Carole Lankford explained that SKHA having dumpsters in the homesites is something they do each spring and are not there for long-term use.


Natural Resources Department


  • Council approved a request from Flathead Lakers for a collection permit to collect water quality samples at 9 beaches on the reservation for e. Coli bacteria for the Swim Guide online website.


Personnel Department


  • Aligned at Work gave a presentation on the plan to review the human resources functions and gave an overview of the discovery process and timelines. The consultants will review personnel policies, including Ordinance 69D and the Grievance Policy.


Legal Department


  • Council reached consensus to approve the two letters as presented.


Department of Public Health &  Human Services


  • DPHHS Representatives met with council as part of the spring tribal tour. A packet of information was provided, including a copy of the updated organizational chart. THIP reporting requirements were placed on hold during the health emergency, so that will now go back into place. The pharmacy flexibility was put into place to not have to get prior authorization for certain medications, the ability to refill prescriptions early, and get a 90-day supply for certain medications. Prior authorization will be required again. Those changes will go into effect on May 12, 2023. Medical services via telephone have had a great impact and will remain in effect. The THIP reports will be required starting July 1. The changes to the kids in congregate care will go into effect July 1. DPHHS had been absorbing the cost because they had a grant; the grant is done now, so they cannot pay for that anymore. The packet of information included the agenda for the SNAP Tribal Consultation scheduled for June 7 in Helena. DPHHS will cover the costs for 4 tribal representatives to attend the consultation.

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..