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CSKT Council approves free-use permit for club

News from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

PABLO – The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have long supported the Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation for its dedication to area families and children. Recently, CSKT’s Council approved a free-use permit that allows the Boys and Girls Club to use a tribally-owned building in Ronan to expand its services to more families. In exchange for using the building, the Boys and Girls Club will clean and maintain the structure.

“Our Council appreciates the importance of the Boys and Girls club in the Mission Valley,” CSKT Council Chairman Ronald Trahan said. “We support their efforts as much as possible. This way they get more room and we get a dependable caretaker for one of our buildings.”

Aric Cooksley, executive director of the Mission Valley Boys and Girls Club, said as the club transitions to new headquarters in the former Total Home furniture store, this temporary use of the Ronan building will help with the high demand for its services.

“It’s tough in the winter and we have a waiting list,” Cooksley said. “This building will provide the club with a short-term solution in anticipation of the permanent solution at the club’s future home in the former Total Home furniture store.”

The Boys & Girls Club has served the children and families of the reservation for the last 19 years by providing a safe and enriching environment. CSKT provided the building for the Boys & Girls Club at no cost, an estimated value of $19,500 per year, or a cumulative contribution of $370,500. The new clubhouse will have both a youth center and a teen center to serve up to 200 per day. For more information contact Aric Cooksley@ 406-493-2312 or hope@ronan.net

Background: CSKT has long supported requests from various community groups that sought out Tribal lands for recreational uses. In 1989, Council approved a 25-year permit for the Charlo Little League. Permits today usually extend to less than two years.

In 1991, Council passed resolutions authorizing recreational uses at Elders Park in St. Ignatius, Dixon, Charlo, Ronan and Hot Springs. The Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken youth baseball organization utilizes fields on tribal lands in Ronan, Arlee, St. Ignatius, Elders Park and Charlo.

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