U.S. Senate promotes economy on Blackfoot Reservation

The United States Senate has approved millions in funding for a Browning Montana based business that develops and tests lightweight materials for missile construction.

Pikuni Industries — with its partner Radiance Technologies of Huntsville, Ala. — is set to receive $3.2 million for defense research and development, according to a joint news release from U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both Montana Democrats.

“We thank Senators Tester and Baucus and welcome this help for our economy,” said Willie Sharp Jr., chairman of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. “This investment will create jobs and training, and will give our people a chance at a brighter economic future.”

Radiance told the labor department that it wants to recruit most of its employees from the reservation, and hopes to develop classes to train prospective employees at Blackfeet Community College and other state universities.

“This is an enormous opportunity for our community,” said Blackfeet Planning Director Emorie Davis Bird in the labor article. “It’s building jobs and increasing the income of our people so that we can compete in the marketplace, and fulfills the tribe’s obligation to employ our people.”

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