- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - Members of the Blackfeet Indian Tribe have voted overwhelmingly to approve a water compact that quantifies the tribe’s water rights and confirms its jurisdiction over those rights on the reservation near Glacier National Park.

The tribe voted Thursday to approve the water rights agreement with Montana and the United States after more than 30 years of negotiations.

The compact passed the Montana Legislature in 2009 and received Congressional approval late last year.

It will provide the tribe with $471 million for water-related projects including new or improved irrigation systems, the development of community water systems and land acquisition.

Tribal officials say projects in areas of the reservation that have lacked access to clean drinking water will be a top priority.

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