Council Dispatch #159      April 20, 2023


Tribal Council


  • Chairman McDonald reminded council of upcoming events. The Northwest Native CDFI Summit is April 25 in Missoula and CSKT will sponsor their evening reception. The NCAI Midyear Convention is May 7-11 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The Tribal Energy Equity Summit is May 22-25 in St. Paul, Minnesota. There are stipends for two tribal leaders to go. Tom, Mike, Jennifer, Martin, and the attorneys will be in the Arthur Blank Treaty Workshop May 30-June 2, so there will be no council meetings that week. Their travel expenses will be covered. 


  • Jennifer Finley will be going to the Governor’s Tourism Conference in Helena next Monday and Tuesday. The State will be covering the costs since she is on the State-Tribal Economic Development Commission. Jennifer will be attending the Elders Conference May 10-11 in Fort Hall, Idaho. Then on May 17 she will be in Havre for the State-Tribal Economic Development Commission meeting.


  • Jim Malatare went on the Medicine Tree trip with Nkwusm yesterday. It is amazing what the staff do with those children and how respectful they are, and how much they have learned. They also went to the next tree and did their prayers.


  • Martin Charlo informed council that the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority received a grant and will be having an open house at the Ronan Boys and Girls Club on May 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be served. They want to restore the northwest trail from Billings to Sand Point, which will go through Ravalli. Martin will be going to Washington, DC next week.


  • Jim Malatare requested an update on the houses that are being rehabbed. There are many houses that are vacant and many people that are homeless. He wants to eliminate the housing issue. There are a couple of vendors that do roofing and housing construction that have not been contacted, but then we hear there is a shortage of vendors. We have people that want to work and Jim wants to put them to work. Chairman McDonald suggested Jimmy give the list of vendors to Housing.


  • Chairman McDonald discussed the need to let the public know that the Tribes are no longer screening for marijuana on the prehire drug test unless it is a safety sensitive position. Tom will ask Rick to work with Mike Wheeler to get the message in the Char-Koosta News.


  • Carole Lankford received a message from a tribal member that needs a job. He has no high school education and she thought the council took that out of the policy. Chairman McDonald thought some jobs have diploma or GED requirements in the position descriptions. Carole asked if the person should come in and request a waiver of the policy. Tom does not believe a diploma is a mandate and that it is up to the department to establish the qualifications.


University of Montana


  • Cohorts of the Young South East Asia Leadership Initiative Professional Fellows introduced themselves to the council. The YSEALI Professional Fellows is a U.S. Department of State program hosted by the University of Montana Mansfield Center. Council welcomed the fellows and took a photo with them.


Natural Resources Department


  • Council approved amendment 3 to Contract No. 21-197 to increase the amount by $1,068,036 for the Jocko Irrigation Canal Lateral to Pipe Project, for a new not-to-exceed amount of $3,206,273, for expanding the scope of work to include all six phases of the construction for right-of-way, easements, bidding, onsite supervision, and construction administration across the entire three years of execution. Chairman McDonald reminded Jace that the council wants to exhaust all possibilities for raw materials, even if we have to buy land to do that. Jace Smith advised the staff is looking at that.


Tribal Education Department


  • Zoe Higheagle Strong, Washington State University, discussed the renewal of a memorandum of understanding for the purpose of strengthening the educational services that are provided to Native American students who attend Washington State University. CSKT tribal member students receive in-state tuition while attending Washington State University. The council was invited to the official signing ceremony on the 28th.


Legal Department


  • Council reviewed and approved by consensus an Op-Ed regarding the Canadian mining industry.



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