656 Agency Main St., Harlem, MT 59526

Phone: 406-353-2205 Fax: 406-353-4541

Home of the Nakoda and Aaniiih Nations

Home of the Nakoda and Aaniiih Nations

Home of the Nakoda and Aaniiih NationsHome of the Nakoda and Aaniiih Nations

WATER COMPACT & SETTLEMENT ACT

Securing Our Water Rights

The Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribes Water Rights Settlement Act resolves water rights issues the Fort Belknap Indian Community (FBIC) on the Fort Belknap Reservation. 


Congressional approval of the Water Compact and the settlement of Tribal claims against the United States will support the water projects recognized in the Water Compact and allow the FBIC to fully develop, administer, and regulate its water rights. 


Congressional approval will help to resolve longstanding issues of water use and development for our Reservation, while providing a funding source for critical water projects.


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What's Happening Now

The Fort Belknap Indian Community’s water settlement bill, the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribes Water Rights Settlement Act of 2019, was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate. 


Congressional approval of our water rights settlement bill is long overdue. The Fort Belknap Indian Community’s water settlement bill will bring infrastructure investment, economic benefits and certainty for water users.


The information presented here is part of an overall effort to get more information into the hands of tribal members about the water compact and settlement act.  We hope you will read and share this information, ask questions, and be part of the process.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WATER COMPACT

The following documents contain information about the Water Compact and Settlement Act of 2019, including the Executive Summary, the House Bill, the Senate Bill, and the Water Compact of 2001. The Backgrounder, Frequently Asked Questions, Chronology and Executive Summary are good places to begin.

WHAT'S HAPPENING NEXT?

Next Steps with Fort Belknap Indian Community

1. The United States Congress must pass the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribes Water Rights Settlement Act of 2019 to settle the FBIC water-related claims and fund the FBIC water development projects.


2. FBIC tribal members will vote to approve the Water Rights Settlement Act and Water Compact. Congress must approve the Fort Belknap-Montana Water Compact as part of the Water Settlement Act.


3. The FBIC, state of Montana, and United States will submit the Water Compact to the Montana State Water Court to issue a decree recognizing the FBIC reserved water rights with the ability to enforce these rights.


Follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and checking this website for regular updates on the water settlement.

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GROWING SUPPORT

The National Wildlife Federation

December 19

Tester Bill Rights a Historic Wrong by Returning Ancestral Lands to Tribal Control, Updating Water Compact

Great Falls Tribune

December 19
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said he introduced the Fort Belknap Indian Community (FBIC) Water Compact in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, which he said will ratify a water rights settlement with the state, help with water infrastructure development, provide for irrigation rights for all and return sacred FBIC land to federal trust.

Montana Wildlife Federation

December 19

Montana Wildlife Federation Lauds Senator Tester’s Water Rights Settlement Bill for Fort Belknap Indian Community