The Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation has received a $2 million federal grant to help supply water to the tribe.
Valerie Harper, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development assistant secretary of economic development, said in Pablo Tuesday that Rocky Boy was one of three Montana tribes to receive grants.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a press release that the grants from HUD’s new Rural Innovation Fund promote an “entrepreneurial approach” to affordable housing and economic development in rural areas.
“Rural America is vast and diverse, and different communities face different challenges and opportunities, ” said Donovan. “Because there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to strengthening rural communities, this funding provides flexible resources to address either housing or economic development needs, or both. This is especially important for communities that may have more limited access to resources because of their distant locations. These are catalytic projects that will have an impact on their communities for generations to come. ”
The Rocky Boy grant will pay for a new water system to supply water for drinking and fire suppression to about 200 homes and to the new Justice Center and clinic being built near Stone Child College at Rocky Boy.
Waking Shield Inc. in Lake Forest, Calif., also was awarded $300,000 to bring surplus military houses on Malmstrom Air Force Base to provide housing on Rocky Boy.
The other Montana awards were $300,000 to the Salish & Kootenai Housing Authority in Pablo, for a homeownership assistance project on the Flathead Indian Reservation, and $300,000 to the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Housing Authority in Lame Deer to rehabilitate 21 houses.
“These grants will bring much-needed jobs to Indian Country right away and bring the American dream of homeownership to Montana families, ” U. S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said in the release. “And improving the infrastructure and housing on Montana’s reservations will help us attract even more jobs in the future by adding to the quality of life that makes Montana such a great place to do business. ”