Permanent tribute recognizing Native American contributions to the state and nation to be erected on Capitol campus
MONTANA — Construction is set to begin Monday, July 13, 2020 on a Tribal Flag Plaza to be constructed on the Capitol grounds in Helena. As directed by Governor Steve Bullock, this permanent tribute recognizes Native American contributions to the state of Montana as well as the nation.
Flags representing Montana’s eight tribal nations will fly next to the United States (U.S.) and Montana flags within the newly constructed plaza area.
Montana’s tribes include the Blackfeet Nation, Chippewa Cree Tribe, Crow Nation, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, Fort Belknap Assiniboine & Gros Ventre Tribes, Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes, Little Shell Chippewa Tribe, and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.
Governor Steve Bullock signed legislation on May 23, 2019 authorizing the permanent display of the tribal nation’s flags. “These flags will be a symbol of respect and understanding, and a recognition that the Capitol belongs to all those who call Montana home,” said Governor Bullock.
“This is an historic moment to show the commitment and continued government-to-government relationship between this administration and Tribal Nations. We are excited to have worked with Representative Marvin Weatherwax. Jr, to pass it through the legislature and looked forward to celebrating with tribes when completed,” said Jason Smith, Director of Indian Affairs.
The design of the flag plaza was a collaboration between the Office of the Governor, the Department of Administration, and Stahly Engineering of Helena.
Bids for construction were received in June and Diamond Construction of Helena was awarded the construction contract. The project is anticipated to be complete in early October.
The flag plaza will be located on the north lawn of the Capitol between the grand staircase and the statue of Thomas Meagher, near where the current U.S. and state flags are presently located.