Current Projects

Tribal Tourism in Montana

Native community-controlled tourism initiatives bolster economic development opportunities and put the community in charge of telling their own story and sharing their culture as they choose. In 2021, with generous funding from the Otto Bremer Trust, First Nations provided funding support and technical assistance to two tribal entities in Montana (Fort Belknap Community Economic Development Corporation on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and the Piikani Lodge Health Institute on Blackfeet Nation) to expand their existing tribal tourism efforts.

2021-2022 Grantees

Piikani Lodge Health Institute, Browning, Montana

Establishment of a Blackfeet Conservation Area (BCA) has the potential to drastically benefit the social, cultural, ecological, and economic well-being of the Blackfeet people and lands. Interpretation within the BCA would allow the Tribe to share its culture, language, and true histories not taught in any K-12 curriculum. Piikani Lodge Health Institute (PLHI), a Native-controlled nonprofit organization, has already laid significant groundwork in supporting the development of a Blackfeet Conservation Area and Blackfeet tourism. The emphasis of this project will be on supporting the development of conservation and tourism on Blackfeet lands. PLHI will 1) support the further development and maturation of the BLC, 2) develop community engagement maps to enable community input on conservation, 3) develop conservation educational materials around current and potential conservation projects underway, and 3) develop tourism itineraries with management plans.

Fort Belknap Community Economic Development Corporation, Harlem, Montana

The Tourism Department of the Fort Belknap Community Economic Development Corporation will build and sustain their tourism-related economic development strategies in accordance with its cultural assets, stewardship of natural resources, and community priorities. The organization will develop virtual and visual marketing materials as well as encourage and support local artisans to offer culturally-based items for sale to tourist.