uncil Dispatch #151           March 16, 2023


Tribal Council


  • Ellie Bundy provided testimony yesterday on SJ5 urging congress to fully fund public safety in law enforcement within the reservation that was sponsored by Senator Brown.


  • Martin Charlo provided testimony on SJ6 yesterday, which is a bill to acknowledge that boarding schools happened. Martin attended the Salish Language conference last week with Bing and Jim. Echo Bell and Chaney Bell were recognized at the conference. Bing Matt reported there were over 600 people that attended the event.


  • Ellie Bundy informed council the Fish & Game staff were out on their new snowmobiles this past weekend. They met with staff on the border going to Seeley. They have been certified.


  • Bing Matt stated for the record that he gave council the letter he received from an individual regarding Fish & Game.


USS Commissioning Committee


  • Council approved a letter to the Montana Historical Society requesting support for the nomination of CSKT for the USS Montana Committee Heritage Keeper Award.


Tribal Forestry


  • Council approved a five-year memorandum of agreement with Salish Kootenai College to pass through BIA funds for the TREES program. The program provides education, mentoring, and internship opportunities to Native American youth and natural resources students throughout the nation.


Financial Management


  • Council authorized the Natural Resources Department Safety of Dams to purchase capital equipment consisting of a 2019 F-550 truck in the amount of $12,234.00. Safety of Dams leased the vehicle from Sovereign Leasing & Financing and would like to exercise the purchase option now that the lease has expired and paid off. There are sufficient funds in the capital equipment budget.


  • Council approved by resolution modification 10 to the fiscal year 2023 Total Budget Allocations.


Preservation Office


  • Council approved a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requesting assistance under the authorities of the Tribal Partnership Program Section 203 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 to address feasibility, design, and construction for an archeological curation facility. Thousands of artifacts were excavated during the construction of Libby Dam and those items are being stored at Salish Kootenai College. There are over 300,000 artifacts in storage in a facility that does not meet the ACOE standards.


  • Chairman McDonald mentioned a proposal for open pit mining in the Bitterroot. Katie McDonald is researching the matter.


Operation Underground Railroad


  • Council received a presentation from Operation Underground Railroad. The Education Team would like to provide awareness and prevention training to tribal law enforcement. OUR was founded in 2013 by former Homeland Security Agent Tim Ballard. It is a nonprofit, bureaucracy-free organization whose mission is to rescue and provide aftercare for sex-trafficked children. The organization also offers cutting-edge training and tools for local law enforcement and help with organizing and assisting in rescue operations. OUR offered to provide age-appropriate educational presentations on child sex-trafficking awareness and prevention to schools, organizations, and the general public. OUR has operations in nearly 40 countries and all 50 states. The organization provides grant funding to help cover the costs for resources, training and supplies to investigate cases.


Mission Valley Power Utility Board


  • Council took action to concur/approve a request from the Lonepine Community for a donation in the amount of $2,000.00 to assist with the upgrades and maintenance costs of the Lonepine Community Hall. The community held fundraisers to raise funds.


  • Council approved a letter to Kurt Fredenburg, Deputy Regional Director – Indian Services, Indian Self Determination Office, Northwest Regional Office, requesting support for tasks directly related to the September 2021 BIA Report on deferred maintenance for the federal utilities. Mission Valley Power would like to bring the engineering firm/staff who did the utility physical condition assessment report here to spend time with the Utility Board and Engineering staff to better understand the assessment assumptions. MVP is also requesting financial assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to purchase software, as recommended by HDR Engineering, which allows Mission Valley Power to track and monitor the work order process.


  • The General Manager vacancy is being advertised until filled and the first screening will be April 25, 2023. The Utility Board would like to participate in the General Manager interviews and selection process, due to the complexity of the position. The selected candidate will be initially hired on a 15-month contract.


S&K Technologies


  • Council conducted interviews for the Board of Directors vacancy and took action to accept the results of the ballot to appoint Pete White to serve on the board for a four-year term.


Tribal Lands Department


  • There was discussion about the request from One Heart to transfer the business lease for the Black Bear Ranch to the Kootenai Culture Committee to take over management of the property and ensure there is a caretaker there at all times. Financial Management had questions about where the costs would reside. The Kootenai Culture Committee’s priority is to get the property secured. The employee is willing to live in the house as the caretaker. Tribal Elders have expressed their desire to secure those areas. Council took action to transfer the Black Bear Ranch to the Kootenai Culture Committee.


  • Council received an update. Two houses were abated. The surveyor needs to finish six other houses and the asbestos needs to be taken care of. The Ronan Fire Department would like to do their annual home training at those two homes at KHJCC this weekend or next week. Council took action to authorize the Ronan Fire Department to practice burn the two houses at KHJCC within the next week.


Tribal Education Department


  • Staff provided orientation for the Tribal Education Department.


Salish Kootenai College


  • Leeann Courville discussed a proposal to add a rider to the Farm Bill for child care and requested the Tribes’ support for that. The SKC Early Learning Center is open to the community. It was the consensus of council to support the request.


Lake County Sheriff


  • Don Bell informed council he is here to serve the people of this community and is not involved in the politics regarding Public Law 280. Sheriff Bell supports Public Law 280. Sheriff Bell was scheduled to meet with the council after next Monday’s chairman’s meeting.



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..