Tribal Council visits Boys and Girls Club
RONAN – The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have long supported the Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County, but Aug. 14 was the first time the entire Tribal Council has visited the Ronan campus.
Tribal Vice Chairwoman Carole Lankford said it was important for the council members to see what the club brings to the Reservation as the group searches for a new home. The Tribal Council has traditionally leased the Ronan building to the club for $1 per year, but that option will be off the table after March 2015, as the facility is shuttered and removed to make way for the expansion of Highway 93.
“I’m hoping we can sit down and have a discussion with the board about finding you guys a new home,” Lankford said to the club’s children as the council and club’s board members gathered together.
The club’s presence is important to the community and helps prevent substantial issues facing the reservation’s population, such as drug and alcohol abuse, Lankford said.
The haven allows children to learn and grow in a supervised environment that fosters respect, according to Lankford.
“The first time I came here … I said ‘Wow, I want my grandkids to be here because it is safe,” Lankford said.
Young De-Ja-Nay Littlemarry played four square with friends and laughed as Lankford watched. Her fellow councilmembers Terry Pitts and Len TwoTeeth shot hoops with youngsters.
“You guys are the most important thing to the Tribal Council,” Lankford said. “Our children are most important.”
Club Director Aric Cooksley thanked the Tribal Council for their support.
“I hope we can see how we can work together in the future,” Cooksley said.