Green Guide

Blackfeet tribal members to vote on water compact

Posted April 18

— Members of the Blackfeet Indian Tribe are scheduled to vote this week on a water compact that has been decades in the making.

If tribal members approve the compact, it would confirm and quantify the tribe's water rights and the tribe's jurisdiction over those rights on the reservation near Glacier National Park.

Negotiations on the agreement began more than 30 years ago. The compact passed the Montana Legislature in 2009 and received Congressional approval late last year. The compact includes $471 million for water-related projects including new or improved irrigation systems, the development of community water systems and land acquisition.

Tribal chairman Harry Barnes calls Thursday's vote one of the most important and historical votes in tribal history.

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