Kerr Dam
11:38 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Montana tribe prepares to become first tribe in the country to own a major dam

If all goes as planned, in September 2015, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes will be the first tribes in the country to own a major hydroelectric facility.

Salish and Kootenai chiefs at dedication of Kerr Dam
Salish and Kootenai chiefs at dedication of Kerr Dam
Credit photo courtesy Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes

The tribes obtained the option to pursue buying Kerr Dam near Polson in 1985, and have been working towards that goal ever since. Last fall, they formed a corporation known as Energy Keepers Inc. to finalize the purchase from PPL Montana, and to ultimately take over the dam's operation.

Kerr Dam today
Kerr Dam today
Credit photo courtesy Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes

In this feature interview, CEO Brian Lipscomb talks about the history of Kerr Dam, the plan to purchase it, and the new tribally-owned company he heads that will be in charge of operating it.