Aaniiih n - Ah-Ah-Nee-Nin and Nakoda Nations
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Internship Application

Nic?-Mni (Water) Center

The purpose of the Center is to integrate and expand ANC's scientific and educational capacity in the areas of water research and education and to apply that capacity in a manner that supports and assists the FBIC in addressing its most critical water-related needs. To fulfill this purpose, the Center will (1) conduct research on water issues of critical concern to the FBIC; (2) offer training and education programs that will provide community members with the knowledge, skills, experiences and credentials needed to effectively address local water issues; and (3) gather and share information that can be used by the community to make wise decisions regarding the proper care and use of the reservation's water resources.

There are currently four research projects under the Nic?-Mni Center. The first research project is the Investigation of Groundwater Resources on the Southern End of the Reservation. The purpose of this study is to characterize the impact of mining activities to groundwater quality on the southern end of the reservation and to characterize aquifer properties to determine the rate of possible contaminant movement in the local system. This is done by collecting samples from USGS monitoring wells, which were previously installed for groundwater monitoring studies in all local aquifers, including both shallow alluvium and bedrock. These monitoring wells are in the Little Peoples Creek and Lodgepole Creek areas.

The second research project is the Bioassessment of Streams in the Little Rockies. The purpose of this project is to assess the impacts of gold mining on aquatic life in reservation streams in the Little Rockies. This is done using protocols for the collection of benthic macroinvertebrates and periphyton. Collection of macroinvertebrate and periphyton will provide a more complete picture of impacts occurring throughout the biotic system, including those occurring at the level of primary production. When correlated with results of chemical analyses conducted by the FBED, bioassessment data will yield valuable information regarding the ecological integrity of the aquatic systems, as well as the residual impacts of mining activities and the (in)effectiveness of reclamation efforts for stream biota.

The third research project is the Bioassessment of the Middle Milk River. The purpose of this project is to conduct a longitudinal study in which bioindicator data from benthic macroinvertebrates and periphyton are correlated with concomitant TMDL data (e.g., nutrients, metals and pathogens) to assess overall water quality and degree of impairment. The fourth research project is the Study of Subsurface Irrigation Systems in the Milk River Floodplain. The goal of the research is to investigate the applicability of subirrigation to agricultural production within the Milk River valley. The installation of a subirrigation system is a novel approach to the region and has the potential to be an effective tool for soil moisture and nutrient management within the unique moisture gradients and variations associated with floodplain agriculture. The project will construct a subsurface irrigation network at ANC's demonstration garden and assess the effects of the system on (1) the volume of water used to irrigate, (2) soil nutrient variation throughout the growing season, and (3) end of season crop yield, as compared to traditional aboveground sprinkler irrigation.

Program Staff

Michael Kinsey, Water Project Manager - (406) 353-3910

Victor Gone, Water Center Technician - (406) 353-3957

Beau Black Wolf, Water Center Technician - (406) 353-3944

Page Last Modified: Wednesday - April 14, 2021 @ 4:30pm MDT