BROWNING – The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council is working to prepare for some furloughs as the partial federal government shutdown continues.
The BTBC released a statement Tuesday stating some programs are not affected by the government shutdown at this time and business will continue as usual.
Some directors, however, have already furloughed some employees from non-essential programs. The most impacted programs will be tribal programs funded with Tribal monies.
The BTBC stated that in light of the ongoing shutdown, they have taken necessary measures to become very conservative and hardship funding is for extreme medical and applies to immediate family only.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is down to one plow, one operator, and one on-call operator to cover all of the BIA routes on the Blackfeet Reservation, according to the BTBC.
The food distribution program was able to secure some food donations, which were given to furloughed federal employees and Indian Health Service employees working without pay.
The BTBC has been in contact with the Montana Department of Transportation, Browning and Heart Butte Public Schools, the Indian Health Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs regarding services.
The Council is also meeting with Pondera County Commissioners this week and hopes to meet with Glacier County Commissioners soon.
The BTBC said circumstances may change depending on funding or when the government reopens.