Our mission is to promote a thriving cultural and sustainable economy of the Fort Belknap reservation.
We invest in and create innovative programs and models that strengthen our assets both on and off the Fort Belknap reservation and support economic development in the communities on and adjacent to the Fort Belknap reservation.
We network extensively with community grass roots volunteers, tribal programs, and non-profit organizations to improve the economic conditions in four key areas:
Native Food Sovereignty
Community Based Entrepreneurship
The Fort Belknap Community Economic Development Corporation (DBA "Nakoda Aaniiih Economic Development Corporation" NAEDC) was established on July 10, 2014 by the Fort Belknap Indian Community Council -- the governing body of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation -- as a nonprofit business corporation under the laws of the Fort Belknap Indian Community.
NAEDC was created to build a strong Fort Belknap Indian Community through business, entrepreneurship, and community development.
NAEDC accomplishes this mission through a variety of community and economic development activities specifically designed to create profitable self-sustaining businesses and long-term employment opportunities; including the provision of training and financial assistance to current and aspiring low-income entrepreneurs. Each of these activities is an important strategy for addressing the high levels of unemployment and poverty on the Reservation as well as a way to combat community deterioration within the region.
Fort Belknap Indian Reservation is homeland to the Gros Ventre(Aanii) and the Assiniboine (Nakoda) Tribes. The reservation is located 40 miles south of the Canadian border and 20 miles north of the Missouri River, which is the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Fort Belknap Indian Reservation is the fourth-largest Indian reservation in Montana.
Fort Belknap Indian Reservation was created by an act of Congress on May 1, 1888, and the Fort Belknap Agency was established at its present location, 4 miles southeast of the present town of Harlem, Montana. Fort Belknap was named after William W Belknap, Secretary of War under President Grant.
The reservation encompasses an area consisting of 675,147 acres, which extends approximately 28 miles east and west and 35 miles north and south. The Milk River (Little River), forms the northern boundary while the Little Rocky Mountains (Fur Caps or Island Mountains) make up mostly the southern boundary. Except for the extreme north and south portions, the character of the land is predominantly prairie land. The northern portion is the milk river basin which supports an estimated 16,000 acres of irrigable land. The southern portion contains roughly 39,000 acres of timber lands in the Little Rockies. The principle use of the land is for grazing, although lands converted to dry land farming continue to increase each year.