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MONTANA TRIBAL TOURISM ALLIANCE. 5 YEAR PLAN OVERVIEW. Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance. MTTA Board of Directors. R.J. Young, President Ft. Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes Latonna Old Elk, Vice-President Crow Nation Representative

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MTTA Board of Directors

R.J. Young, President

Ft. Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes

Latonna Old Elk, Vice-President

Crow Nation Representative

Yvonneda Thompson, Secretary/ Treasurer Northern Cheyenne Tribe

Jason Belcourt

Rocky Boys Chippewa-Cree Tribes

George Heavy Runner

Blackfeet Tribe Representative

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MTTA Board of Directors

Caroline Yellow Robe

Ft. Belknap Indian Community Council Representative

Mary Jane Charlo

Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes Representative

Northern Cheyenne Representative – Vacant

Michael Sweeney – Member At Large

Richard Hopkins – Member At Large

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MTTA Professional Staff

  • Dyani Bingham

  • MTTA Coordinator

  • P.O. Box 1224 Billings, MT 59103

  • 406-208-2389

  • Email:

  • Website:

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Our Mission

To promote culturally appropriate economic development through tourism

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What’s New in 2006?

  • 5 Year Plan Developed

  • Submission of ANA SEDS Grant

  • Plains Indian Encampment & Art Market

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  • In five years, MTTA will have achieved….

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▪ Excellent, sustained working relationship with Tribes, State, Region

▪ Continued relationship with Travel MT

▪ Strong MTTA Membership

▪ Financial Stability through diversified

▪ Organizational growth to include more staff, new Board Members & new Membership

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▪Tourism Departments on all Reservations

▪Strong community support for MTTA

▪Tourism Education on each Rez via the Tribal Colleges in MT in partnership with MTTA & Travel MT

▪Partnerships with Tribal Colleges for Tourism Training

▪Training for Tribal Individuals in Tourism Skills

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 Expanded Cottage Industry to increase Tribal Tourism Employment

▪ Improvement of recreational resources on each reservation

▪ Native American Packaged Tours (Variety of Adventures)

▪ Establish Scenic Byways, Interpretive Signage & Rest Areas on the Reservations

▪ Native American Speakers Bureau

▪ Assemble Tribal Encampment


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▪Development of Promotional DVD for MT Seven Reservations

▪Indian Country Travel Planner –Listing of Available Packaged Tours

▪ Professional, quality marketing for Indian Business & Events in MT

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▪ Neglected Board Commitment

▪ Neglected MTTA Membership Drive

▪ Infrequent communication between MTTA Board Members

▪ Reactive rather than proactive

▪ Limited Resources: people, dollars, office space

▪ Limited Staff to Fundraise

▪ Stagnant Organizational Structure

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▪ Lack of communication to ensure Tribal Support

▪ Inconsistent Tribal Involvement

▪ Tourism Industry has limited awareness of MTTA

▪ Missing Tribal Reps on Alliance

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▪ Few Hotels

▪ Few Restaurants

▪ Few Public Restrooms

▪ Undeveloped Campgrounds

▪ Fragmented and Undeveloped Recreational Parks

▪ Underdeveloped tourism product

▪ Divide between tourism product on reservations and what Market wants

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▪Preconceived conceptions/misconceptions of Reservation Life

▪ Reservations communities perceived as not viable tourism destinations

▪ Limited knowledge of Indian people by non-Indian people

▪ Assess Market’s perception of Montana Tribes

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▪Establish Working Committees

▪ Identify Roles and Responsibilities for Board Membership

▪ Addition Tribal Individuals in private sector to MTTA Board (1 from each Rez)

▪ Development of MTTA Business Plan

▪ Re-assess & Update By-Laws of MTTA

▪ Update Job Descriptions

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▪ Update MTTA website to promote MT Indian owned Tourism Products & Encampments

▪ Visitor’s Etiquette Brochure

▪ Research tourism and recreation gaps for each reservation in Montana

▪ Complete assessment for tourism products available on each reservation

▪ Reservation communities to define tourism from their own community’s perspective

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forward…. Develop MT Tribal Tourism Toolkit for Tribal Governments on scenic byway development, recreational improvementopportunities, rest area developmentand bricks and mortar opportunities.▪ Network with other Tribes nationally for tribal tourism education▪ Update Tribal Councils on MTTA accomplishments and ask for Input to MTTA Strategic Plan

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Annual tribal tourism workshops on each reservation via the Tribal Colleges.▪ Establishment of Tourism Communications Network to alert on Tourism opportunities. ▪ Work with MT/WY Tribal Leaders Council to host a Tribal Leaders Forum on Tribal Tourism Development.

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▪Market Research

▪  Development of MTTA Marketing Plan.

▪  Networking Opportunities

▪  Research Opportunities for Indian Business & Event Promotion

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Best Case Scenario Tribal Colleges.

Tourism for economic development while still affirming community values and cultural integrity.

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Tourism Niches Tribal Colleges.

  • History

  • Ethno-botany

  • Experienced Wranglers

  • Beautiful Scenery

  • Warm, family experience

  • Horses

On the trail with Cheyenne Trailriders in Ashland, MT

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Nature or Eco-Tourism Tribal Colleges.

  • Emphasizes the Natural World

  • Flora, Fauna & Ethno-botany

  • Leaves an undetectable, small footprint on the natural world

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Natural Attractions Tribal Colleges.

Rivers, Lakes, Mountains,

Forests, Caves, Canyons,

Rocks, Fossils, Badlands…

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Hiking Tribal Colleges.

Walking Tours

Horseback Riding

Bird Watching





Wildlife Viewing


Eco-Tourism Activities

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Know the natural attractions in your Community Tribal Colleges.

  • Most natural wonders need protection, not promotion

  • Find and develop areas for activity

  • Divert attention and interest in areas you want to preserve and protect

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Cultural Tourism Tribal Colleges.

Fine Arts & Museums

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Cultural Tourism Attractions Tribal Colleges.

  • Arts & Crafts Shows

  • Museums

  • Interpretive Centers

  • Restaurants

  • Wellness Resorts or Spas

  • Art Gallery

  • Gift Shop

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Heritage Tourism Tribal Colleges.

  • Focuses on the story of people and places told through interpretation of cultural landscapes

  • Preservation or restoration of historic structures

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Historic Sites ie. Battlefields, Pictograph Caves Tribal Colleges.

Interpretive Center

Arts Crafts Shows

Traditional Games

Pow wows

Archeological Sites

Tipi Encampments

Music Festivals

Campfire Stories

Guided Tours

Oral History

Heritage Tourism Attractions

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Cultural Heritage Tourism Tribal Colleges.

  • Eco-Tourism

  • Cultural Tourism

  • Heritage Tourism

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Cultural Heritage Tourism Tribal Colleges.

  • Is planned and implemented with community involvement and support

  • Is respectful of family stories

  • Doesn’t trivialize

  • Doesn’t commercialize

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Recreation & Adventure Tourism Tribal Colleges.

  • Very common

  • Activity driven

  • Strenuous, often perilous activity

  • Less environmentally sound

  • Landscape is impacted

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Mountain Climbing Tribal Colleges.



Snowmobile Activity

Mountain Biking

Rock Climbing






Wildlife viewing


Recreational Activities

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Framework for Tourism Development Tribal Colleges.

  • Work against any exploitation of people, land and culture

  • Balance entertainment with education

  • Urge community members to tell their own story in their own way

  • Build tourism programs that benefit the people in the tribe both financially and socially

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Attributes for Success Tribal Colleges.

  • Open, friendly personality

  • Support of friends and family

  • Detailed Business & Marketing Plan

  • Guidelines for Tourists

  • Punctuality

  • Strong Networking Skills

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Obstacles Tribal Colleges.

  • Money & Infrastructure

  • Land Use Issues

  • Racism

  • Education

  • Seasonal

  • Need more trained Personnel

  • Politics

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Assets Tribal Colleges.

  • Strong American Indian Cultures

  • Interest in American Indian Way of Life

  • Beautiful Natural Resources

  • Lots of Talent & Enthusiasm

  • Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance

  • Partnerships with Travel MT, L&C Bicentennial Commission, etc…

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Important Issues Tribal Colleges.

  • How to fund tourism development?

  • Training & Educating for Tourism Jobs

  • Visitor’s Etiquette

  • Positive Promotion of Indian Businesses & Events

  • How much to charge tourists?

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Tourism Can: Tribal Colleges.

  • Bring much needed dollars and jobs directly to our communities

  • Open the doors to funding that can establish cultural/community centers and interpretive sights

  • Help preservation efforts for land, language and culture

  • Foster a new generation of small, successful businesses on the reservations

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Ft. Peck Reservation Tribal Colleges.

  • Home to the Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes

  • Established in 1871

  • More than 2 million acres

  • Southern Border is Missouri River

  • Northern Border is 50 miles south of Canada

  • Open Prairies & Farms


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Ft. Peck Attractions Tribal Colleges.

  • Ft. Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Culture Center & Museum in Poplar, MT.

    • Features permanent exhibits of Assibiboine & Sioux heritage, arts & crafts.

  • Fort Peck Community College, Poplar, MT

    • Upper Missouri River Institute & Gift Shop

  • Sponsors Seven Powwows Annually

    • Excellent Dancers, Rodeos, Art & Crafts, Sports


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Ft. Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribal Flag Tribal Colleges.

  • Designed by Roscoe White Eagle

  • Two Chiefs Holding Sacred Buffalo Robe Between the Two Tribes living together in Harmony

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Ft. Peck Tourism Contact Info: Tribal Colleges.

P.O. Box 1077

Poplar, MT 59255


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Ft. Belknap Reservation Tribal Colleges.

  • Home of the Gros Ventre (A’aninin or “People of the White Clay”) & Assiniboine (Nakoda or “Generous Ones”) Tribes

  • Landbase of 650,00 acres of Plains and Grasslands in NC Montana

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Ft. Belknap Attractions Tribal Colleges.

  • Ft. Belknap Tourism Offers Buffalo Tours & Reservation Tours

  • Wildlife

  • Scenic Mission Canyon, South of Hays

  • Hunting & Fishing

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Ft. Belknap Flag Tribal Colleges.

  • Traditional shield protects both Tribes

  • Circular shape of shield represents cycle of Life

  • The Buffalo Skull symbolizes the 2 Tribes, different colors, but functioning as a whole

  • White Jagged Line on Buffalo Skull represents the Milk River

  • Two arrowheads signify strong traditional ties with the past

  • 7 Feathers hang from the shield. There is a feather for every two of the twelve council members with the center feather for the Tribal Chairman

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Ft. Belknap Tourism Contact: Tribal Colleges.

R.R.1, Box 66

Harlem, MT 59526


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Chippewa-Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy Reservation Tribal Colleges.

  • Located in north-central Montana near the Bear Paw Mountains.

  • Home to the Cree descendents from Canada and from Chippewa that had moved east from the Turtle Mountains in North Dakota.

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Rocky Boy Attractions Tribal Colleges.

  • Bear Paw Ski Bowl

  • Rocky Boy Tourism Developing Tour Packages

    • Hunting

    • Guided Tours

Bear Paw Ski Bowl

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Rocky Boy Flag Tribal Colleges.

  • Tribal Seal

  • Sun’s Rays represent the 15 Sacred Grass Dance Chiefs active in preserving the culture of the Chippewa Cree

  • Writing under the Sun represents good health and fortune for the Tribe

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Rocky Boy Tourism Contact: Tribal Colleges.

R.R. 1, Box 542

Box Elder, MT 59521


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Blackfeet Tribe Tribal Colleges.

  • Three Bands of Blackfeet Nation: the Blackfeet in Montana & the Bloods and Blackfoot in Alberta, CA

  • Reservation Landbase of 1.5 million acres bordered by Canada & Glacier National Park

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Blackfeet Attractions Tribal Colleges.

  • Home of Museum of the Plains Indian

  • Beautiful Scenery & Wildlife

  • North American Indian Days Celebration


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Blackfeet Flag Tribal Colleges.

  • Coup stick with 29 Eagle Feathers

  • Blackfeet reservation outlined in middle of circle of 32 Eagle Feathers

  • PIKUNI -

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Blackfeet Tourism Contact: Tribal Colleges.

P.O. Box 2809

Browning, MT 59417


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Flathead Reservation Tribal Colleges.

  • The Flathead Confederacy was formed in 1855 among the Pend’Oreille, Kalispells, Kootenais and the Salish.

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Flathead Attractions Tribal Colleges.

The Sqelix’y/Aqsmaknik (People’s) Center

  • Native Ed-Ventures

  • Flathead Lake

  • Traditional Encampments

  • Powwows

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Flag of the Salish, Kootenai & Pend O’reille Tribal Colleges.

  • Power of the Sun

  • Blue Water from the Mountains

  • Mountains Signify Earth

  • Tipi Represents Home

  • Seven Eagle Feathers

  • Bow & Arrow represent Protection of Homeland

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Flathead Tourism Contact: Tribal Colleges.

The People’s Center

P.O. Box 278

Pablo, MT 59855


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Crow Tribe Tribal Colleges.

  • Apsaalooke translates as “children of the large beaked bird”

  • 85% Tribal Members speak Crow as first language

  • Located in SC Montana

  • Buffalo Herd

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Crow Attractions Tribal Colleges.

  • Little Big Horn College Apsaalooke Tours

  • Bighorn Canyon

  • Yellowtail Dam

  • Little Bighorn Battlefield

  • Chief Plenty Coup State Park

Beautiful BigHorn Canyon Nat’l Recreation

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Crow Flag Tribal Colleges.

  • White tepee is a symbol of Life with 4 poles as base

  • Pipe is sacred gift

  • Sacred Tobacco Plant

  • Three Mountain Ranges on Crow Reservation

  • Two War Bonnets represent the Warrior Society of the Crow

  • Good Men from Mother’s Clan and Good Men from Father’s Clan

Source: Apsaalooke Nation, Cultural Affairs Department

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Crow Tribe Tourism Contact: Tribal Colleges.

LBHC Apsaalooke Tours

1 Forestry Lane, Box 370

Crow Agency, MT 59022


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Northern Cheyenne Reservation Tribal Colleges.

  • Home of the “Tsistsistas” or “Human Beings”

  • 437,000 acre reservation in SE Montana

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Northern Cheyenne Attractions Tribal Colleges.

  • John Woodenlegs Memorial Library

  • 4th of July Powwow in Lame Deer

  • Labor Day Powwow in Ashland

  • Crazy Head Springs

  • Tongue River

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Northern Cheyenne Flag Tribal Colleges.

  • Symbol of the Morning Star or WOHEHIV

  • Name of great Chief Morning Star or Dull Knife

  • First star to rise in the Morning

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Northern Cheyenne Contact Info: Tribal Colleges.Northern Cheyenne Tribal CouncilPO Box 128Lame Deer, MT 59043Phone: (406) 477-6284  Fax: (406) 477-6210Website:

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How to contact us: Tribal Colleges.

Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance

P.O. Box 1224

Billings, MT 59103

Phone: 406-208-2389 Fax: 406-259-8352



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Credits Tribal Colleges.

  • PowerPoint presentation by Dyani Bingham, MTTA Coordinator

  • The National Park Service, L&C National Historic Trail 2005 Challenge Cost Share Grant

  • Thank you to Montana Indian Tribal governments and business people

  • Tribal Tourism Toolkit - Lewis & Clark Bicentennial and Other Tribal Opportunities, NATHPO