When: Monday, May 23, 2022
Contact: [email protected]
PABLO, Mont. — Interior Secretary Deb Haaland traveled to Montana last week, where she met with several tribes across the state to discuss the Department’s commitment to strengthening Indian Country and highlight how funding for the President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act is making historic investments in rural and Indigenous communities.
Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act will help make significant investments to improve rural and tribal water infrastructure in Montana, including $57 million for the Rocky Boys North Central Montana Rural Water System and $7 million for dollars for the Fort Peck Reserve. These projects include work related to pipeline connections, construction of water treatment plants and water intakes, pumping systems, construction of reservoirs, and other efforts to supply water. ‘potable water. The act also provides for an investment of nearly $3 million to repair aging water distribution systems in the Toston Irrigation District.
The act also includes $2.5 billion to implement the Indian Water Entitlement Completion Fund, which will help deliver long-promised water resources to tribes, including for the Blackfeet Nation and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT).
On Friday, Secretary Haaland, Sen. Jon Tester, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Bryan Newland and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams highlighted these investments and discussed the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to strengthen native communities during a tribal listening session, which included representation from several Montana tribes.
Department of the Interior leadership also toured the Creston National Fish Hatchery during their visit, where they heard about the department’s fish production programs, ongoing restoration and recovery efforts, and tribal partnerships and states for the conservation of fish and habitat.
On Saturday, Secretary Haaland toured the Flathead Reservation, where she celebrated the transfer of all land comprising the National Bison Range, approximately 18,800.22 acres, to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which will be held in trust for CSKT.