PABLO – Services available to its members through the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes won’t be impacted by the federal government shutdown – not this week, anyway, according to CSKT spokesman Rob McDonald.

“However, the deeper we get into October, the more likely services will have to be cut back or altered” if Congress does not pass a federal budget, McDonald said.

The Tribal Council has opted to create a fund to cover the cost of otherwise furloughed employees this week, McDonald said. Some tribal jobs in various departments are partially or totally funded with federal dollars that aren’t available without a federal budget in place for the new fiscal year.

“We have some employees who are paid with a mixture of federal and tribal money,” McDonald said. “Some are 25 percent federally funded, some 50 percent and some 100 percent.”

There is good news for tribal members, McDonald said – news that some could find ironic.

The federal shutdown comes because some conservative members of Congress do not want to fund the Affordable Care Act.

But, McDonald said, “health care is considered essential, and all tribal health services will continue unchanged.”

Also safe, McDonald said, is funding for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families administered through CSKT’s Department of Health and Human Services.

It is “safety net” programs such as elder care and other family services that could run into problems if Congress and the president can’t agree on a budget soon. Programs and departments that use Bureau of Indian Affairs moneys through self-governance compacts are most affected.

“The deeper we go into October, the tougher the decisions become,” McDonald said. Without a budget in place, the “council will be forced to prioritize. Some programs could be forced to change their operations. Those decisions have not been made.”

Reporter Vince Devlin can be reached at 1-800-366-7186 or by email at vdevlin@missoulian.com.

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(3) comments

BigMac
BigMac

I think that many of us who are not Native Americans wonder how tribes can be "Sovereign Nations" yet depend on Federal Tax Revenues?

I am sure I will be accused of being a racist but I really am puzzled by this.

jimira
jimira

Ya, like Tribal Health is sooo great. This is why we call McDonald the Director of Propaganda... What a joke... The only half way good thing coming out of this is the Tribal Council did not give away all of the Salazar settlement money. Although, I hope we do not have to dip into this money. I am glad Council had the foresight to save some for a rainy day because a big storm is coming. Then again, the Tribe could do for some fat to be trimmed. Starting with the Dir. of Propaganda...

fomerliberal
fomerliberal

You are correct about McDonald being the Director of Propoganda. ....Last week in the Missoulian McDonald was quoted “I don’t know anybody who comes strictly to fish for lake trout on Flathead Lake,” ...........Here was a response "This just shows just how out of touch they are. Is that what your creel data that you refuse to share with the public shows? What other fish are people buying downriggers and high tech electronic anchors to fish for? What were I and the other anglers in your recent video series fishing for? What about the 6,000 plus users who hire charters each year to strictly fish for lake trout? And lastly, what are all the Mack Days users fishing for? You have over 800 people who come to Flathead to fish Mack Days.for Lake Trout only. Other than a few folks targeting perch for 3 weeks a year, and those of us wondering where the Whitefish fishery has gone, the great majority of anglers on Flathead Lake ONLY fish for lake trout. I am sorry, but that statement is absolutely absurd."........
I think the Missoulian needs to ask someone else than McDonald when they are seeking information.......but who???

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