MISSOULA — Messages of peace and respect highlight an afternoon ceremony, as Missoula County formally acknowledges the importance and legacy of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
And the new CSKT Tribal Chairwoman calls the moment "refreshing" and "amazing", hoping it shows the way for all Montana counties to acknowledge their local tribal partners.
Thursday's hour-long ceremony was the latest effort by Missoula County commissioners to open a better intergovernmental relationship with the CSKT tribe.
Last year the board named its meeting room after tribal leader Sophie Moise. And that room was filled with county officials and tribal leaders today as commissioners formally presented the CSKT tribal flag as one of the banners on permanent display.
Commissioners said they wanted to acknowledge the Salish people's legacy and importance to Missoula County, noting how the tribe's leaders and history are everywhere in the area's place names and history. New CSKT Chairwoman Shelly Fyant graciously accepted the acknowledgment, saying it's a "great relationship" for the future.
The county also formally unveiled two new prints by nationally-renowned tribal artist, and CSKT member Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith that will be on permanent display in the meeting room.
The ceremony today marked a joint meeting when Missoula County commissioners visited the tribal council in Pablo earlier this month.