The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) include the Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d'Oreilles Tribes. As the first to organize a tribal government under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, the Tribes are governed by a tribal council. The Tribal Council has ten members. The council elects from within a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. The Tribal Council represents the Arlee, Dixon, Elmo, Hot Springs, Pablo, Polson, Ronan, and St. Ignatius districts in Montana. The CSKT employs nearly 1,400 people.
As of 2021, there were about 8,014 enrolled tribal members. Approximately 5,300 tribal members live on the Flathead Reservation. The 2019 population of the Reservation was 26,829, with non-Indians outnumbering Indians by two-to-one.
The Tribes’ mission is guided by traditional principles and values. As stated in the 2021 Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes Annual Report, “We adopt traditional principles and values into all facets of tribal operations and services; invest in our people in a manner that ensures our ability to become a completely self-sufficient society and economy; and strive to provide sound environmental stewardship that preserves, perpetuates, protects and enhances natural resources and ecosystems.”
The Tribes’ vision is to maintain traditional principles and values. “Traditional values that served our people in the past are embedded in the many ways we serve and invest in our people and communities, in the way we have regained and restored our homelands and natural resources, in the ways we have built a self-sufficient society and economy, in the ways we govern our Reservation and represent ourselves to the rest of the world and in the ways we continue to preserve our right to determine our own destiny.”
Today, the CSKT are recognized as a model of a self-sufficient sovereign nation of the United States. The Tribal government offers a number of services to tribal members and is the primary employer on the Reservation.