Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes of Poplar, MT host workshop on planning for sustainable growth

oil refinery2An oil refinery off Highway 13 on the Fort Peck Reservation, MT. Photo by Elizabeth Schilling.

Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes officials and local residents met with representatives from Smart Growth America on May 6 and 7, 2014 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop sought to provide tribal leaders with the necessary strategies to achieve long-term sustainable growth within the reservation, especially given the development pressures created by the Bakken oil boom.

“The Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes Tribal Executive Board is excited about the opportunity for the tribal staff and community leaders to gain more knowledge and expertise in the area of community planning,” said Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board Chairman A.T. Stafne.

“The goal is to develop local solutions to help our entire community grow in ways that will provide benefits now and for generations to come,” said former Tribal Economic Development Office Acting Director Shawn Olson. “This workshop will give us more tools to leverage community assets and plan for our future. The Fort Peck Reservation is very diverse, covering four counties, and encompassing the tribal capital, a county seat, and several other small towns and rural areas. We look forward to working with Smart Growth America to discuss innovative strategies that fit our unique region. This is a tremendous opportunity to engage residents and local leaders in creating an action plan for sustainable growth that is beneficial for our region. We encourage area leaders, both Native and non-Native, to register for this workshop and join the discussion.”

Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Reservation area residents gathered on the first day for an introductory presentation that shared strategies on how to plan for smart growth.

In January, the Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes were one of 18 applicants selected by Smart Growth America to participate in the free technical assistance program. Stretching from New Hampshire to Idaho, these communities represent major cities, suburban centers, and rural towns alike.

The technical workshop program is made possible through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, which seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place. Two other nonprofit organizations—Global Green USA and Project for Public Spaces—also received competitively awarded grants to help communities get the kinds of development they want.

Workshop Materials:

Technical assistance