DIXON — It was a good day to have a district meeting. The agenda was light as was the turnout of a half dozen curious folks. That didn’t faze Dixon District Tribal Council Rep. Anita Matt though or seem to matter to the folks that turned out.
The Dixon Agency has been keenly on Matt’s radar. To say the Dixon Agency has seen better days would be an understatement as vast as saying Trump tells the truth. Through the years there have been efforts to spiff up the Agency and have a community meeting center. There have been random community clean ups and at times ad hoc community groups working to improve the former Bureau of Indian Affairs governmental complex appearance and foster a bit of community pride. However they have fallen short of the objectives for various reasons.
The most desirable need that past ad hoc community groups advocated for was a community building to hold meetings and other events.
Matt said she is working with the Montana Department of Transportation to secure a modular building located in Ronan that has to be moved because it is in the right-of-way for the Ronan U.S. Highway 93 reconstruction project. If that works out the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes would have to pay for the cost of the foundation. The Tribes own the Agency lands.
The other things on for the Agency wish list are painting the houses there, cleaning up the former post and pole yard and rehabilitating the Agency roads. The roads are slated for rehab, Matt said, adding that Mission Valley Power will be putting in LED street lights in the Agency in the near future for improved night lighting.
Kicking Horse Job Corps
The U.S. Department of Labor has severed its Kicking Horse Job Corps management contract with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Matt said the DOL has visited the site, inventoried its contents and took possession of the equipment it owned and transferred it to the Anaconda Job Corps site.
The future of the former KHJC site is being kneaded and what will rise from the process is unknown. The CSKT owns the land and the buildings at the site,
“We haven’t quite figured out what to do with the buildings and property,” Matt said, adding that a few ideas have popped to the surface, including home-sites, a Salish Kootenai College satellite campus, and tribal programs office space.
There is presently an on-site security personnel and cameras at the site.
Flathead Indian Irrigation Project
Matt said she and others toured the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project recently. “It was an eye-opening tour,” Matt said. She was able to see the dilapidated condition of the infrastructure. The rehabilitation of FIIP is a prime component of the CSKT Federal Reserved Water Right Compact that presently is in the hands of the U.S. Congress for approval. However there has been much political backlash locally about the compact costs. As a result, Matt announced that members from Montana’s senatorial staff would be touring FIIP in late August.