Excellence in Voting December 8, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2018. A coalition of concerned citizens is pleased to announce that the legislative framework for the People’s Compact has now been released for public review. The document establishes the historical, factual context that underpins the legislative intent of the People’s Compact and articulates why this effort provides Montanans with a better alternative to the divisive, overreaching, and controversial CSKT Compact that was questionably passed by the Montana legislature in 2015.
By releasing the Framework for public review, our goal is to articulate why the key elements of the People’s Compact are necessary to resolve the most important issue affecting the water rights of hundreds of thousands of Montanans.
The People’s Compact, written by the people for the people, accomplishes what our state, federal and tribal governments failed to do. It begins with a sincere desire to develop a solution that benefits people, including individual tribal members, to heal the divisiveness promoted by our respective governments, and to provide a final resolution of the federal reserved water rights of the CSKT. In creating a viable and vibrant solution, the People’s Compact:
- STAYS within the boundaries of federal reserved water rights law and the Montana Constitution
- Quantifies and limits the CSKT federal reserved water rights to fulfill the primary purposes of the Flathead Reservation, and provides funding for their development
- Acknowledges and settles an old grievance of the CSKT against the United States related to the Flathead Irrigation Project water, awarding a generous per capita payment directly to individual Tribal members
- Protects existing water rights of all Montanans both in eastern and western Montana and the water rights of individual tribal members
- Settles for all time any and all existing claims of or on behalf of the CSKT to water in the state of Montana
The People’s Compact is a reconciliation of the federal government’s failure to address the serious issues that its policies have created for both tribal people and the homesteaders who were invited to western Montana by the United States more than 100 years ago. Instead of choosing sides, like the 2015 CSKT Compact did, the People’s Compact addresses the issues of all citizens fairly and equitably.