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Kootenai Tribe sees continued success

by PAM RENTZ / Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
| April 25, 2024 1:00 AM

The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho had a phenomenal 2023. We continued to see success in both our government projects and our commercial enterprises.

The Tribe won an environmental restoration grant for Ambush Rock, a culturally significant area reacquired by the Tribe in 1993. Our Environmental Department will oversee the work to clean the site to remove health hazards from previous industrial use.

The Tribe’s Fish and Wildlife Department works together with partner agencies and the community on natural resource goals throughout the Kootenai River Basin. The Tribe takes an active role in managing these resources with the goal of a healthy ecosystem that supports traditional Tribal uses and other important societal services.

The Department is also active in the management and protection of diverse species including Kootenai white sturgeon, burbot, kokanee and woodland caribou. The Tribe collaborates with numerous partners to protect forests, fish, and wildlife and promote activities that conserve, restore, and recover these resources. They aim to find common ground and focus on long-term stewardship to manage resources sustainably.

 The Tribe leads the Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Program, a large-scale ecosystem-based river habitat restoration project with the goal of improving the river habitat for healthier plants and a better habitat for native fish. The Tribe works with other Tribes, non-profits and government entities, and private homeowners to accomplish these goals.

The Kootenai Tribal Police Department has been keeping our community safe for over a decade. Fifty percent of the Department’s officers are Native American citizens. The Tribal Health Clinic continues to expand its capabilities. It currently offers medical services, behavioral health counseling for adults and children, chiropractic services, medication-assisted treatment, dietary services and will soon add vision services. The Housing Department secured several new homes for our tribal members and made upgrades to existing houses in order to keep them safe for residents.

The Administration Department has continued its work with the Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative, an important collaborative that brings Tribal, City, and County representation together to make informed decisions for the wildlife and forests in Boundary County.

After many years of success with Hagadone Hospitality, the Tribe has taken over management of the Kootenai River Inn Casino and Spa. The Tribe pushes for further advancements under this new leadership.

The Tribe is especially proud of its newest business venture: Sturgeon Station Travel Center. The enterprise opened in November, just north of Bonners Ferry and features a Sonic Restaurant, convenience store and truck stop with fuel stations for cars and long-haul trucks.

The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho is proud of all we have accomplished. We take our job as stewards of the land seriously. We are so grateful for all our employees who make it all possible. 

For more information on the Kootenai Tribe, please visit www.kootenai.org. For information on KVRI, visit www.kvricollaborative.com.

    An image of the Sturgeon Station Travel Center, the newest business venture of the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho.