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USDA Invests $8.2 Million to Create Economic and Educational Opportunities in Underserved Rural and Tribal Montana Communities

Mark McCann
Release Date

Bozeman, Mont., Dec. 12, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development in Montana State Director Kathleen Williams today announced more than $8.2 million in grant awards to nine underserved and Tribal communities in Montana. These awards are designed to help improve infrastructure, housing, and educational opportunities.  

“Everyone deserves access to education, housing, and reliable water infrastructure, no matter where they live, their age or ability, or their income,” said Williams. “Today’s investments underscore USDA’s commitment to our rural and Tribal neighbors in Montana fostering opportunity by helping provide life’s basic necessities to grow and thrive.”

The grant awards in Montana were part of a broader $81 million USDA investment in 208 projects across 42 states and two U.S. territories – Puerto Rico and the Marshall Islands/Micronesia.

Montana’s investments came by way of USDA Rural Development 306C Water and Waste Grants – Native American, Housing Preservation Grant, and Tribal College Initiative Grant programs.

Recipients in Big Sky Country include:

The City of Wolf Point, Montana, received a $4.7 million 306C Water and Waste Grant – Native American, to replace wastewater collection lines and update its lift station, eliminating health and sanitary issues with the current system. When completed, this project will improve living conditions for more than 1,200 residents in its service area - both Tribal and non-Tribal.

Homeward, Inc., of Missoula, Montana, received a $350,000 Housing Preservation Grant to make infrastructure improvements at the Hearthstone Apartments in Anaconda, Montana. These apartments, home to more than 70 residents who are elderly and/or have a disability, serve Anaconda and all of Deer Lodge County in southwestern Montana.

Aaniiih Nakoda College on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Harlem, Montana, received a $352,000 Tribal College Initiative Grant to purchase a used pickup truck for its physical plant, a snowplow attachment, a utility vehicle to assist outdoor studies, a zero-turn mower, a multi-disciplinary star lab set up for scientific study, a plasma table and tools for the industrial trades, a medical dosing machine, and a large format printer. This investment will increase efficiency of operations at the college and improve the educational experience for more than 200 enrolled students.

Blackfeet Community College on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, Montana, received $700,017 through two Tribal College Initiative Grants to purchase landscaping, farming, and classroom equipment that supports educational programs and improves year-round campus maintenance operations. Chartered in 1974, the college hosts academic programs and culturally oriented educational opportunities for 350 Native American students annually.  

Chief Dull Knife College on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana, received a $352,000 Tribal College Initiative Grant to purchase four 12-passenger vans and a commercial grade paper shredder. The vans will provide transportation for students and staff in the nearby area the shredder will facilitate more efficient document management for the administration. Chartered in 1975, the college hosts academic programs and culturally oriented educational opportunities for residents of the Reservation.

Fort Peck Community College on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Poplar, Montana, received a $352,000 Tribal College Initiative Grant to purchase two modular homes at its Wolf Point campus. Because of a shortage of housing in the area, these units will help recruit and retain faculty for the college. The college's internal construction crew will prepare the site, build the foundation, and provide landscaping for these homes, helping with cost savings and benefitting more than 500 students, faculty, and staff members at the college.

Little Big Horn College on the Crow Indian Reservation in Crow Agency, Montana, received a $352,000 Tribal College Initiative Grant to enhance its agricultural curriculum by facilitating research that explores best practices for raising livestock, plant breeding, analyzing agricultural value changes, examining interaction among soil health, agricultural productivity, and water quality. This project will enhance the academic experience for students and research opportunities for faculty.

Salish-Kootenai College on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Pablo, Montana, received a $700,017 through two Tribal College Initiative Grants to prepare and pave a parking lot adjacent to a dormitory housing project and purchase equipment for student transportation and grounds maintenance. Founded in 1977, the college hosts academic programs and culturally oriented educational opportunities for Native American students of any tribal background.  

Stone Child College on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation in Box Elder, Montana, received a $352,000 Tribal College Initiative Grant to purchase computers, IT networking equipment and accessories, fitness equipment for instruction and student body fitness uses, physical therapy equipment for students and athletes, and a pickup truck, to replace an older one currently in use. This project will benefit more than 500 students, faculty and staff served by the college annually.

Rural Development provides loans, grants, and loan guarantees to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural and Tribal areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements, business development, housing, community facilities and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.  

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                                                                           USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.


USDA Rural Development has six offices in Montana – Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Montana, call (406) 585-2587 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt.