Shelly R. Fyant
Tribal Council Chairwoman, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
All it takes are a few short conversations with community members and a drive around the Flathead Reservation to recognize that our highways, bridges, water projects and broadband access are all in great need of repair and advancement.
Knowing that our infrastructure is falling into disrepair, the $1 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could not have come at a better time. This bill pumps billions of dollars into tribal communities across the country and billions more into Montana.
These investments will ensure that our Flathead Reservation community has access to good-paying jobs, clean water, high-speed internet, safe roads and bridges, landscape restoration, fishery improvements, power grid upgrades, and remediation of legacy pollution.
They also mean that the Salish and Kootenai Tribes can get to work on rehabilitation and modernization projects that are critical in restoring damages to fish and wildlife habitats caused by the Flathead Irrigation Project.
Access to high-speed internet for our community will mean better online learning and educational opportunities.
We know that knowledge is power and that having basic access to high-speed internet should never be contingent on where you live or what income bracket you fall in.
With community water systems struggling to provide clean and drinkable water, the investments in water infrastructure and sanitation facilities will ensure that our community’s health and economic well-being are protected for years to come.
On behalf of the Tribal Council, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes applaud U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, for working across the aisle and making this legislation a bipartisan package.
Senator Tester is a true statesman who represents the needs and values of all Montanans. Improving the quality of life and ensuring Montanans are more successful has always been a Montana value.
We are proud of Senator Tester for not forgetting who he is and where he comes from.