The NPM Regional Water Team worked to develop and enhance partnerships with other agencies, organizations, and stakeholders including:

  • Linkages in shared programming with other regional water projects and national facilitation projects
  • Relationships with EPA Region 8 and ag sector contacts
  • Program-based partnerships with agencies including NRCS, EPA, BOR, DOE, USGS and the Western Governors' Association

The following links offer additional information on partnerships formed with USDA-NIFA, 1994 Tribal Colleges, and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) within the region and nationally.

The NPM Region water quality project partnered with the Tribal Colleges and Universities National Facilitation Project for Increasing Tribal Involvement in the Water Quality Network, to help facilitate capacity building among 1994 institution faculty. The NPM regional project team developed, in collaboration with the national facilitation project leader and selected tribal faculty, collegiate-level, classroom-ready instructional materials for a 25 to 30 lecture-format water quality course, introducing basic hydrology and water law and covering the primary parameters used in the characterization of physical, chemical, and biological water quality criteria. The materials developed include lesson summaries, suggested reading resources, PowerPoint lectures with instructor notes with each slide, assignment possibilities and test questions.

The course content and instructor-ready resources and materials were reviewed by regional program water quality coordinators for science content accuracy. Subsequently the materials were reviewed by 1994 tribal college instructors and modified accordingly to include attention to cultural relevancy and tribal instructor and student background knowledge. Workshops were then arranged with 1994 tribal college instructors to provide them opportunity to review course materials and to provide additional insights and mentoring to tribal instructors using the course materials. The curriculum materials have now been introduced to 1994 tribal college instructors throughout the NPM region and plans are being developed to work collaboratively with these same instructors to make modifications to the curriculum based on initial teaching and to develop jointly additional curriculum that will support capacity building among the 1994 Tribal Institutions.

As a continuation of this collaborative project, NPM regional water quality coordinators have committed to serve as the direct link to water quality personnel at 1994 Institutions for collaborative program development and implementation. Additionally, the coordinators will provide consultation on curriculum and will participate in water quality training as requested by Tribal Colleges on issues related to drinking water quality, watershed protection and restoration, energy development, as well as nutrients and pesticides.

Montana State University Extension’s Water Quality Program worked with Salish Kootenai College and the NPM Regional Water Program to develop a water quality teaching package. The package provides materials to support a college level water quality course to enhance water science education capacity at tribal colleges.

Tribal Waters Videos

Montana State University Science and Natural History Film Making Program and Salish-Kootenai College have partnered together to produce a film about water quality management on Montana reservations. The video contains footage of interviews with members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), the Apsáalooke (Crow) Tribe, and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe concerning water quality work they are involved in. The intention of the video is to outline the Clean Water Act structure that supports water quality work completed on reservations and what is happening on the ground in Montana under this structure.

Click here to view The Clean Water Act in Indian Country

In a subsequent video, Clayton Matt with CSKT talks about the legal framework surrounding Indian water rights. The discussion covers the legal framework at the federal level with additional insights from the CSKT experience. Topics covered include prior appropriation, federal reserved water rights, Winters Doctrine and aboriginal water rights.

Click here to view Introduction to Water Rights


United States Department of Agriculture Colorado State University Montana State University North Dakota State University South Dakota State University Utah State University University of Wyoming National Water Program