News & Features

Kerr Dam Now Owned by 2 Native American Tribes

The tribes paid nearly $18.3 million to NorthWestern Energy to acquire the dam

PABLO — Two Native American tribes in Montana have taken over ownership of a dam after a late legal challenge that sought to stop the transfer failed.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes held a celebration Saturday in Pablo to commemorate the official takeover of the dam. The tribes paid nearly $18.3 million to NorthWestern Energy to acquire the dam.

Tribes chairman Vernon Finley tells the Missoulian that the dam on the Flathead River will now be called Salish-Kootenai Dam. It had been named Kerr Dam.

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras denied a temporary restraining order on the sale that was sought through a lawsuit filed Thursday.

The lawsuit contended there was a link between the transfer of ownership and terrorism.