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September 2013. Strategic Plan Purpose. Serve as an early step towards addressing the impacts of climate change on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. Improve the Tribal community and its lands resiliency by effectively informing the Tribes.

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strategic plan purpose
Strategic Plan Purpose
  • Serve as an early step towards addressing the impacts of climate change on the Flathead Reservation in Montana.
  • Improve the Tribal community and its lands resiliency by effectively informing the Tribes.
  • Initiate the development of collectively beneficial impact mitigation and adaptationsolutions.

“Indigenous people of the world have a special moral stature on this issue [of climate change] and may have a special role to play in coming together to advocate for action.”

- Salish-Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee

    • Special thanks to Tribal elders and the Tribal Council
  • Project Team
  • Planning Committee
  • The Round Table of the Crown of the Continent Adaptive management initiative through the Kresge foundation and the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
  • Other Contributors
salish and pend d oreilles tribes
Salish and Pend d’Oreilles Tribes
  • Included Kalispel & Spokane Indians
  • Hunted, fished, harvested
  • Leaders governed by consensus
  • Traded with Nez Perce

Aboriginal Territories of the Salish & Pend d'Oreille People courtesy of CSKT SPCC and Natural Resource’s GIS Department

ksanka band of kootenai indians
Ksanka Band of Kootenai Indians
  • Numbered over 10,000 members
  • Moved seasonally
  • Fished, hunted, harvested roots
  • Traded with Shoshone, Nez Perce, and Blackfeet

Aboriginal Territory of the Ksanka Band of Kootenai Indians map courtesy of NRD and Kootenai Culture Committee

flathead reservation
Flathead Reservation
  • Flathead Reservation
    • Western Montana
    • 1.317 million acres
    • 790,000 acres owned by Tribes & members

Montana Reservation Map by Montana Office of Tourism

tribal government
Tribal Government
  • Ten member Tribal Council
  • Represents the Arlee, Dixon, Elmo, Hot Springs, Pablo, Polson, Ronan, and St. Ignatius districts
  • Employs nearly 1,400 people

Camel, J. (2012). Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Economic Development Facts at a Glance.

CSKT Economic Development Office

flathead reservation population
Flathead Reservation Population
  • 2010 population was 28,359 people
  • Approximately 7,900 enrolled tribal members
    • 5,300 members live on reservation
    • 2,600 members live off reservation

Camel, J. (2012). Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Economic Development

Facts at a Glance. CSKT Economic Development Office

Bureau, U. S. (2010). Flathead County, Montana. Retrieved 2013, from American Fact


Independent Record. (2011, March 28). Census shows growth at 4 Montana reservations. Helena, MT, United States.

Retrieved April 8, 2013, from

cultural considerations
Cultural Considerations
  • Cultural traditions rely on abundant populations of native fish and wildlife, healthy plant communities, clean air and water.

River Honoring, photo by Conrad Durglo

why the tribes are planning
Why the Tribes are Planning
  • Climate change is expected to impact the Flathead Reservation.
  • These impacts may substantially affect ways of life that have been at the core of Tribal culture for generations.
  • As such, it merits special focus, especially related to the connection between traditions and issues of community resilience and sovereignty.
impacts on the tribes
Impacts on the Tribes
  • Many cultural resources are non-renewable resources. They can be one day or thousands of years old. Their destruction is a gross violation of everything we value.
  • -Flathead Culture Committee
tribal elder observations
Tribal Elder Observations

“I do not know when the last time the lake completely froze. It has been awhile since it did that. I do not know if we will ever see that again.”

- IgnaceCouture

Ignace Couture, photo by Frank Tyro

tribal elder observations1
Tribal Elder Observations

“As an Indian people we get concerned especially for the higher elevation plants that we use for medicine - not only for the plants but for the animals”.

- Mike Durglo Sr.

Mike DurgloSr., photo by Frank Tyro

tribal elder observations2
Tribal Elder Observations

“One of the things my dad always did was when we took a drink out of the creek we always put some [water] back. You took a drink then you threw some [water] on the plants or somewhere.”

- Sadie Saloway

Sadie Saloway., photo by Frank Tyro

tribal elder observations3
Tribal Elder Observations

“The weather [may bring a] big change and then maybe the world will go back the other way.”

- Stephen SmallSalmon

Stephen SmallSalmon., photo by Frank Tyro

tribal elder observations4
Tribal Elder Observations

“The elders would sit down and they would tell stories. They would talk about certain things that were coming…One day this earth is going to become warm….The snow and ice is going to melt in the north and the oceans are going to fill up…I am witnessing this today.”

- Patrick Pierre

Patrick Pierre, photo by Frank Tyro

tribal elder observations5
Tribal Elder Observations

“The old people used to say that in the winter when it got cold you could hear the trees pop, it sounded like a rifle shot, then the coyote stories could come out, then in the spring when you hear the first thunder then that when you put them away.”

- Louie Adams

Louie Adams, photo by Frank Tyro

  • Meetings, trainings, and planning sessions
  • Local impact assessments completed by Tribal departments and local organizations
    • Adaptation Planning Spreadsheet and Matrix

Adaption Planning Tool used by CSKT

planning sectors
Planning Sectors

3.1 Forestry

3.2 Land

3.3 Fish

3.4 Wildlife

3.5 Water

3.6 Air Quality

3.7 Infrastructure

3.8 People

3.9 Culture

Flathead Reservation, photo by Roian Matt

forestry focus
Forestry Focus
  • CSKT forestland timber, rangeland (fire), interior grass, shrub, and forb vegetation in four fire regimes types.
    • Non-Lethal
    • Mixed
    • Lethal
    • Timberline

Flathead Reservation Fire Regimes, figure by John Holub, GIS Analyst, CSKT Division of Forestry

forestry assessment
Forestry Assessment
  • Priorities:
    • Non-Lethal Fire Regimes is low
    • Mixed Fire Regimes is medium
    • Lethal Fire Regimes is high
    • Timberline Fire Regimes is medium
  • Timeframe: 0-26+ years
forestry goals
Forestry Goals
  • Responsible: Forestry Department
  • Purpose: Ensure the health of the forest through effective resource planning and management.
  • Goals Summary:
    • Updated, revise, develop, and/or implement plans
    • Conduct assessments and monitoring
land focus
Land Focus
  • Native plant community trends and ecological sites, including the monitoring and managing noxious weeds.

Flathead Reservation, photo by Roian Matt

land assessment
Land Assessment
  • Priorities:
    • Plants is medium
    • Noxious weeds is medium
    • Agriculture is medium
  • Timeframe: 0-26+ years

Flathead Reservation, photo by Roian Matt

land goals
Land Goals
  • Responsible: Tribal Lands Department
  • Purpose: Ensure the health of soils, plants, and water sources through research and management.
  • Goals
    • Evaluate soil health, crop requirements, and irrigation water sources to support shifting to alternative crops.
    • Engage in practices to promote more vigorous native plant communities.
fish focus
Fish Focus
  • Fish and fish habitat with the intent to assess the benefits of healthy functioning fish habitat versus degraded habits in the context of climate change.
  • Bodies of water and substrate required for fish spawning, breeding, feeding, and growth which are located on and near the Reservation.
fish assessment
Fish Assessment
  • Priority:
    • Fish is high
    • Fish habitat is high
  • Timeframe: 0-10 years

Bull Trout, photo release by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library as public domain

fish goals
Fish Goals
  • Responsible: Natural Resources Department - Fish
  • Purpose: Ensure the health of fish through improved planning and use of ecological principles.
  • Goal:
    • Improve integration of ecological principles into tribal agricultural leases that negatively affect native trout.
wildlife focus
Wildlife Focus
  • Terrestrial wildlife species (birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles) and their habitats.
  • Grasslands, agricultural lands, rangelands, wetland riparian areas, mountain forests, and alpine habitats.

Swan, photo by David Nall

wildlife assessment
Wildlife Assessment
  • Priorities:
    • Forested habitat is low
    • Wetland habitat is high
    • Grassland habitat is medium
    • Alpine habitat is medium
    • Riparian habitat is low
    • Agricultural habitat is medium
  • Timeframe: 0-10 years
wildlife goals
Wildlife Goals
  • Responsible: Natural Resources Department - Wildlife Management Program
  • Purpose: Ensure the health of wildlife through improved research and planning.
  • Goal:
    • Anticipate and plan for climate change impacts upon each species.
water focus
Water Focus
  • Quality and quantity of groundwater and surface water.
  • Western Montana west of the continental divide, north to the Flathead River headwater streams up into Canada, and west to the Columbia River Basin

Flathead Lake, photo by David Nall

water assessment
Water Assessment
  • Priorities:
    • Water quality is high
    • Water quantity is high
  • Timeframe: 0-10 years

Stream Measurements at Post Creek, photo by W. Keenan

water goals
Water Goals
  • Responsible: Natural Resources Department – Division of Water
  • Purpose: Ensure the health of and access to water through improved planning and management.
  • Goal:
    • Improve water resources management through research, planning, and mapping.
air quality focus
Air Quality Focus
  • Impacts to health caused by increases in pollutants from climate change within the exterior boundaries of the Reservation.
  • Planning areas include:
    • Non-Attainment Polson
    • Non-Attainment Ronan
    • Prevention of Significant Deterioration
air quality assessment
Air Quality Assessment
  • Priorities:
    • Non-Attainment Polson is medium
    • Non-Attainment Ronan is medium
    • Prevention of Significant Deterioration is medium
  • Timeframe: 0-25 years
air quality goals
Air Quality Goals
  • Responsible: Natural Resources Department – Air
  • Purpose: Ensure the quality of air through improved investigation and management.
  • Goal:
    • Monitor air quality changes through inventories and assessments.
infrastructure focus
Infrastructure Focus
  • Housing: 28 water and/or waste water systems and over 500 units of affordable housing owned by the Tribes
  • Power: Customers on and near the Flathead Reservation
infrastructure assessment
Infrastructure Assessment
  • Priorities:
    • Housing is low
    • Power is low
  • Timeframe: 0-20 years

Felsman duplex, photo by CSKT Housing Authority

infrastructure goals
Infrastructure Goals
  • Responsible: Salish & Kootenai Housing Authority and Mission Valley Power
  • Purpose: Ensure access to housing and power through research and long-range planning.
  • Goals Summaries:
    • Housing – Investigate new building materials and alternative water and waste water systems
    • Power - Investigate and adopt new power delivery methods continuously
people focus
People Focus
  • Social Services - emergency welfare services for Tribal people
  • Safety- work environments, tribal facilities, tribal food services, and domestic animal control
  • Tribal Health and Human Resources - community healthcare and transportation
people assessment
People Assessment
  • Priorities:
    • Social Services ranges from low to high
    • Safety is medium
    • Tribal Health is medium
    • Human Resources is low
  • Timeframe: 0-26+ years
people goals
People Goals
  • Responsible: Social Services, Office of Administrative Services, Tribal Health & Human Services, and Department of Human Resources Development
  • Purpose: Ensure the health and safety of people through improved planning, coordination, and system developments.
people goals1
People Goals
  • Goals Summaries:
    • Social Services – Ensure the wellbeing of the community’s most vulnerable populations
    • Safety – Engage in collaboration, planning, and resource development to meet safety needs
    • Health and Human Resources – Improve the healthcare and transportation systems
cultural focus
Cultural Focus
  • Salish, Pend d’Oreille, and Kootenai people
  • Understand the full meaning of the expected impacts of climate change to the Tribes - including the Tribes cultural survival
  • Geographical focus is the entire Reservation, as well as all aboriginal territories both east and west of the Continental Divide
cultural assessment
Cultural Assessment
  • Priority:
    • Culture is high
  • Timeframe: 0-26+ years
    • Well beyond for many generations to come

Flathead Reservation, photo by Roian Matt

cultural goals
Cultural Goals
  • Responsible: Salish-Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee, Kootenai Culture Committee, and Historic Preservation/ Cultural Preservation Department
  • Purpose: Ensure cultural preservation through education and advocacy.
  • Goal:
    • Educate people about climate change, its cultural import, and the need to speak out for action (local, national, international) to minimize its severity.
next steps
Next Steps
  • Implementation of plan
  • Establish and maintain a Climate Change Oversight Committee.
    • Monitor and measure progress
    • Review basic assumptions
    • Continue to research Traditional Ecological Knowledge
    • Incorporate into guiding documents
    • Update regularly
    • Conduct education and outreach activities
contact information
Contact Information

Michael Durglo Jr.

Division of Environmental Protection Manager

Climate Change Planning Coordinator

P.O. Box 278 Pablo, MT 59855

301 Main Street, Polson, MT 59864

Phone: (406) 883-2888 ext. 7227

Cell: (406) 261-8903