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Plans firmed up for "Bison Range Restoration Celebration"

Posted at 12:53 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 10:24:55-04

MOIESE - Leaders of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are releasing the final plans for a celebration later this month, marking the "restoration" of the National Bison Range.

The range at Moiese in the southern Mission Valley played a key role in saving the American bison from extinction. And it's become a refuge for all kinds of wildlife native to the Northern Rockies ecosystem.

But the federal government had taken over control of the range in 1908 without "consent of the tribes." The Bison Range land was finally restored to the tribes by the Montana Water Rights Protection Act last year.

On May 20, the tribes will hold a "Tribal Member and Community Day" to celebrate the changeover, and explain the cultural significance of the switch with a celebration powwow from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Then on Saturday, the celebration will move to the Salish Kootenai College in Pablo with a day full of events, food, and presentations. And entrance fees to the Range will be half price on Sunday.

CSKT Chairman Tom McDonald says the "monumental day has been a long time coming" and says the tribe is "excited" to share the celebration with the community.

Bison Range Restoration Celebration Schedule of Events
(May 20 - May 22, 2022)

  • Friday, May 20, 2022 (At the Bison Range - Moiese, MT)
    • Tribal Member/Community Opening Ceremony @ 10am
    • Opening prayer, Honor Song, Honor Guard, Veterans Warrior Society
    • Lunch provided from 11:30 am-12:30 pm
    • Powwow 12-4 pm
    • Native Games throughout the day
  • Saturday, May 21, 2022 (At the Salish Kootenai College - Pablo, MT)
    • Film Screening: In the Spirit of Atatice @2:00pm
    • Johnny Arlee & Vic Charlo Theatre
    • Community Meal @2:30pm
    • Joe McDonald Health & Fitness Center
    • Film Screening: In the Spirit of Atatice @3:00pm
    • Johnny Arlee & Vic Charlo Theatre
    • Community Celebration @4:00pm
    • Joe McDonald Health & Fitness Center Gymnasium
  • Sunday, May 22, 2022 (At the Bison Range - Moiese, MT)
    • Community Appreciation Day
    • Half price day passes available

More information at