The Blackfeet Water Rights Compact
The Blackfeet Water Compact is an agreement among the Blackfeet Nation, the United States and the State of Montana that confirms and establishes the Tribe’s water rights (also called Winters rights) and confirms the Tribe’s jurisdiction and authority to manage those rights.
The compact required the approval of the Tribe, the State of Montana and the United States. The Montana Legislature approved the compact in 2009. Congress passed a bill that was then signed into law by President Obama on December 16, 2016, which provided federal approval of the compact as well as $422 million (in addition to the state contribution of $49 million) in funding for water-related projects on the Reservation. Then on April 20, 2017, Blackfeet tribal members voted to approve the Blackfeet Water Compact and Settlement Act.