Approximately one out of every fourteen Montanans is living on one of our seven reservations in Montana. Reservation unemployment, poverty, school dropout rates, and public assistance levels are significantly higher than the Montana average. Basic infrastructure on our reservations needs to be improved. All Montanans are significantly impacted by the economies of their neighboring reservations. Improving the economies of reservations means improving the economy for all of Montana.
In 1999, the Montana Legislature passed HB 670, which established the State Tribal Economic Development Commission (STEDC). This Commission is tasked with conducting a comprehensive assessment of the economic needs and priorities of each Reservation and providing recommendations for accelerating economic development on these Reservations.
From left to right: Rodney Miller, Fort Peck Tribes, Member; Lesa Evers, Governor's Office of Economic Development, Member; Heather Sobrepena-George, Commerce Indian Country Economic Development Program Manager; Shawn Real Bird, Crow Tribe, Commission Chairman; Jason Smith, State Tribal Economic Development Commission Program Manager; Governor Brian Schweitzer; Joe Fox Jr., Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Member; Jennifer Perez-Cole, State Director of Indian Affairs, Member; Loren Stiffarm, Ft. Belknap Tribes, Alternate Member; and Joe Durglo, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe, Commission Vice Chairman.
Not pictured are: Ronald Kittson, Blackfeet Tribe, Member; Emorie Davis Bird, Blackfeet Tribe, Alternate Member; Richard Sangrey, Chippewa Cree Tribe, Member; Yolanda Old Dwarf, Crow Tribe, Alternate Member; Bud Moran, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe, Alternate Member; Delina Cuts the Rope, Fort Belknap Tribes, Member; Walter White Tail Feather, Fort Peck Tribes, Alternate Member; Randy Randolph, Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Member; Russell Boham, Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Alternate Member; Allen Fisher, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Alternate Member; and Andy Poole, Department of Commerce, Member.
For more information, contact:
Jason Smith, Program Manager
Montana Department of Commerce
State Tribal Economic Development Commission
301 South Park Avenue
PO Box 200505
Helena, MT 59620-0505
Telephone: (406) 841-2821
Fax (406) 841-2731
The Montana Department of Commerce is committed to the state's vision for economic prosperity and serving the many citizens, communities, businesses, and organizations. In addition to programs available state-wide, the following programs are specific to Indian Country.programs are available.
The Governor's Office of Economic Development serves to advise the Governor on policy issues related to economic development; lead the state's business recruitment, retention, expansion, and start-up efforts; and serves as the state's primary economic development liaison between federal, state, and local agencies, Montana tribal governments, private nonprofit economic development organizations and the private sector.
Staff work directly with Local Development Organizations, Certified Regional Development Corporations, and Tribes in support of the retention, recruitment, and expansion of businesses. We help structure deals making maximum beneficial use of state programs and resources.For more information, contact:
Governor's Office of Economic Development
PO Box 200801
Helena, MT 59620-0801
Telephone: (406) 444-5634
Fax: (406) 444-3674