This West Is OUR West

The People's Compact - Updates

We are grateful for the enthusiastic support the People’s Compact has already received  and would like to thank those of you who are helping us get the word out.  While state, tribal and federal governments continue to invest taxpayer funded resources into advancing the CSKT Compact, we are confident that the People’s Compact will change the debate as all eyes turn toward Congress in 2019.

Many of the tired old agenda driven actors in the CSKT Compact debate couldn’t wait to weigh in on the People’s Compact in a Missoulian article over this past weekend.  What can we say except that it was a predictable response that is little more than a replay of the last six years?  It was “oh so predictable” that Montana would want to “inject itself” into the process.  Predicable that instead of focusing on the substance of the People’s Compact, they stayed away from the very substantive issues addressed in the People’s Compact.  It has always been a given that the media, and the loudest, most aggressive CSKT Compact proponents would regurgitate state talking points and continue with their threats of litigation.  It is almost laughable.

While they will try their best to deflect the public debate away from the serious issues the People’s Compact proposal addresses, our resolve to stay the course is firmly cemented.  We will continue our efforts to use the grassroots support of the People’s Compact to put it directly into Congress’ hands as a viable option to the government’s CSKT Compact.

Special thanks to Jim White from Excellence in Voting who has been very helpful in shining a spotlight on this important Montana issue.



The Last Chance Patriots have been good enough to sponsor a public meeting about the People’s Compact in Polson in the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.  Details include:

Who:  Last Chance Patriots Public Meeting, Ed Kugler and Linda Sauer

What:  People’s Compact discussion by legislators and other citizens involved in the project

Where:  Red Lion Inn, Polson MT

When:  Tuesday November 27, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

Hope to see you in Polson!


Last week we added a few articles to our website to better explain some of the key framework components of the People’s Compact: 

Settling an Old Tribal Grievance - The People’s Compact settles a 1951 grievance by the CSKT related to water on the Flathead Irrigation Project, and awards a significant amount of damages for that claim to individual tribal members.  The CSKT Compact / S.3013 proposed $2.3 billion be awarded to tribal government, specifying that no money goes to individual tribal members. 

The People’s Compact – No Off Reservation Water Rights:  Were you aware that in a 1966 settlement paying the tribe additional money for off reservation ceded lands the tribe signed an agreement that precludes them from making other claims related to those lands?  “The judgment shall finally dispose of all claims or demands which petitioner has asserted or could have asserted in this case against defendant, and petitioner shall be barred from asserting all such claims or demands in any future action.”

Project Management Under the People’s Compact – In contrast to the old CSKT Compact that essentially destroys any possibility of landowner management of the project via complete tribal ownership of its water and infrastructure, this article explains our vision for irrigation project management in the context of Bureau of Reclamation oversight, and limitations of the tribe’s federal reserved water rights to the purposes of the reservation.


Want to learn more about the People’s Compact?

Join us at any of these upcoming meetings:


With your support, we intend to place the People’s Compact before Congress for consideration as a legitimate alternative to SB 262 and S. 3013.  To do this effectively, we will need your help, as we seek to document support for the idea and input—negative or positive—to help improve the People’s Compact.  You can help us by:

  • Studying the materials on this blog, sign up for updates, and spread the news far and wide
  • Talking with your neighbors about the People’s Compact
  • Writing letters to the editor about the People’s Compact
  • Call or Write our Congressional delegation to express your support for the People’s Compact - Contact Congress
  • Supporting the distribution of the newspaper, ”Both Sides of the Divide”
  • Sponsoring or attending a small meeting or workshop on the People’s Compact for your community

If you’d like to help, or for more information about the People’s Compact, email us at