-Housing Improvement Program-
Fort Peck Reservation is home to two separate Indian tribes, Assiniboine (pronounced uh-sin-eh-boin) and the Sioux Tribes.
The Fort Peck Reservation is located in the northeast corner of Montana. It is one of the seven reservations in Montana. There are an estimated 12,060 enrolled tribal members, of whom approximately 6,000 reside on or near the Reservation. The Reservation is 110 miles long and 40 miles wide, encompassing 2,093,310 acres (approximately 3,200 square miles). Of this, approximately 378,000 acres are tribally owned and 548,000 acres are individually allotted Indian lands. The total of Indian owned lands is about 926,000 acres. The population density is greatest along the southern border of the Reservation near the Missouri River and the major transportation routes, U.S. Highway 2 and the Amtrak routing on the tracks of the Burlington Northern Railroad. The Reservation is isolated from Montana's centers of population, manufacturing and/or marketing and lies within a region in which the economic base is almost entirely agricultural.
The new bureau was no more successful in preventing wars with Native American tribes or in protecting their rights. The Bureau of Indian Affairs instead envolved primarily into a land-adminstering agency. The Dawes Act of 1887, the Burke Act of 1906, and the Wheeler-Howard Act of 1934, played a major role in the development of fractionated land issues.
Fort Peck Reservation is home to two separate Indian tribes, Assiniboine (pronounced uh-sin-eh-boin) and the Sioux Tribes. Each composed of numerous bands. The Sioux bands are Sisseton/Wahpeton’s, the Yanktonai’s, and the Teton Hunkpapa and all are represented. The Assiniboine bands are Canoe Paddler (Wadopana) and Red Bottom (Hudesana), they are represented. The Reservation houses 8 towns/districts. These towns/districts are Wiota, Frazer, Oswego, Wolf Point, Poplar, Brockton, Riverside and Ft. Kipp.
To constitute being an American Indian or “Native American”, an individual must prove to be at least ¼ lineal decent of either Assiniboine or Sioux blood lineage (1/2 blood quantum from mother and/or father), this stands for all American Indians and Tribes but the ¼ does vary amongst tribes. Usually upon birth, lineal documentation is provided to the Fort Peck Indian Agency and the individual is certified and placed on the enrollment register, thus making this individual an “enrolled member” of either Tribe. Besides Horses and Dogs, it is believed that American Indian’s are the only human species that must prove their blood lines.
In terms of housing, 46 percent of housing units are occupied by non-Indians and 52 percent by the Indian population. The median house value in 2000 was $48,400, with the majority of housing being single units, detached. 8 percent of households lacked telephone access, and 9 percent did not own a vehicle.
The Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribe developed a housing rehabilitation plan to establish a tribal position within the reservation. The policy is to ensure that all available resources are considered and utilized in the improvement of sub-standard housing bringing them up to standard conditions. Housing Improvement Program federal funds are provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on an annual basis to the tribes, the amount does vary. The tribe has set up the Housing Improvement Program (HIP) to administer these funds. The total funding for FY2011 was $414.000.00. This money is allotted to the top six qualified applicants which includes 2 new builds and 4 renovations. FY 2012, funding was distributed in the amount of $$332,500.00, this amount is to allocated for four (4) rehabilitation projects and one (1) new build. Other funding sources to assist Indian families are the Fort Peck Tribes, Fort Peck Tribal Enterprise Program, Fort Peck Housing Authority, (FPHA), Indian Health Service (IHS), Farmer’s Home Administration (FHA), USDA rural development grants, Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) funded through HUD, Action for Northeastern Montana and the Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP.
Together, these programs do assist the low and very low income recipients. The low and median income families are often left out of almost every program. The highest need, at this time, are those who are very young families who have several children, the one-member families, the widowed and/or elderly who have small family members remaining.