RONAN — Applications are now being accepted for Leadership Flathead Reservation, a two-year program that helps participants build strong leadership skills to become involved community leaders. The program, which started in the fall of 2017, will start its fourth class with a two-day retreat in October. Participants will then attend monthly sessions from November 2021 to May of 2022. Following a summer hiatus, the participants will then return to the program for the following year as session planners and leaders.

“We’ve had over 60 people complete the program in its first three years,” said Karen Kallestad, program manager for Leadership Flathead Reservation. “We’ve seen the value of the program for individuals as they build leadership skills, and the value to the community as they form connections and gain a deeper understanding of the issues we face and the resources available to make our community an even better place to live. We’ve had a lot of support from city, county and tribal government as well as businesses and organizations throughout the area that provide funding, sponsor meals, and offer scholarships that enable their employees and others to participate in the program.”

Tuition for the program is $1,200, which covers the initial two-day retreat and all meals and expenses throughout the two-year program. Some partial scholarships are available. Each session starts with leadership training at the Salish Kootenai College, followed by trips to locations relevant to the day’s theme. Session topics include government and public safety; history, arts and culture; education and workforce training; healthcare and human services; business, industry and ag; and recreation, natural resources and energy.

This program is housed at Mission West Community Development Partners and sponsored in part by the Greater Polson Community Foundation, the Lower Flathead Valley Community Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Salish Kootenai College, the Ronan School District, and numerous organizations and businesses throughout the community. More information and an application form can be found at

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