Havre Daily News
A three-day economic summit hosted by Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation's tribal council closes today. The summit is being held at a hotel in Great Falls.
It was organized to encourage collaboration between the tribe and area businesses, tribal chairman John "Chance" Houle said Wednesday.
"With all the cuts we're getting from the federal government, we really need to be creating our own revenue streams," Houle said.
Seventy people attended, including business representatives and Rocky Boy community members.
Houle said the summit was held in Great Falls because Malmstrom Air Force Base offered the tribe a day at the base. The event included tours and information sessions on how to qualify for government contracts available to small businesses. The day at the base took place Wednesday.
On Tuesday, tribal partners like the National Tribal Development Association gave updates on several of the tribe's business ventures, including a plan to open a casino on U.S. Highway 87 and plans to open a convenience store near the agency.
After touring the base Wednesday, tribal employees gave a brief presentation about a plan to zone the reservation to support the need for more residential areas.
Today the summit will focus on financial resources available to the tribe for business loans and asset management. Houle said the council will hear from Native American Bank and Wells Fargo representatives. The tribe invested $1 million in Native American Bank three years ago.
The summit ends today with a look into the future, "Where do we go from here?" a discussion moderated by Bob Swan, Chippewa Cree Community Development Corp. interim financial manager.
Houle said the summit was useful for letting each department know what the other was working on.
"We didn't really know what the right hand and left hand were doing," he said.