Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Establishment of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work in Missoula County: In 2021, Missoula County hired an equity coordinator to evaluate Missoula County systems and processes with a concentration on social equity. This employee ensures the services the County provides meet the needs of everyone in the community to improve the culture of Missoula County and provide ongoing organizational transformations. To do this, Missoula County passed a resolution to work to create a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, and the County passed Resolution 2021-087 establishing its commitment to the principles of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. Learn more at http://missoula.co/jedi.

JEDI Advisory Board: The JEDI advisory board will guide and support county and city government on issues, policies, programs, services and other opportunities to help ensure all residents have equitable and just access to public resources. To achieve its goals, the board will be comprised of community members who are less likely to have representation in government or policy. This includes, but is not limited to, those who live in rural areas, race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, language and physical ability. See updates on the board’s development.

Missoula County also passes numerous proclamations each year to recommit the organization to JEDI work:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Black History Month
  • Women's History Month
  • Fair Housing Month
  • Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Awareness Day
  • Pride Month
  • Juneteenth
  • World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary
  • Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month
  • Native American Heritage Month
  • Homeless Persons' Memorial Day

Honor and respect for Indigenous people:

Missoula County values our relationship with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and continues to honor the original inhabitants of our county.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) and the Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee joined Missoula County, the City of Missoula, the Montana Department of Transportation and others on Indigenous Peoples Day 2022 to officially name and dedicate Beartracks Bridge on Higgins Avenue. Hundreds of community members joined the dedication, procession and powwow. Learn more about the renaming and event. CSKT has made this powwow an annual event in Caras Park on Indigenous Peoples Day.

Missoula County and the City of Missoula, in collaboration with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) and the Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee, renamed the Mullan Area Master Plan as the Sx͏ʷtpqyen (A Place Where Something Is Cut Off and Comes to a Point) Area Master Plan.

Missoula County displays the CSKT flag in the commissioners’ public meeting room, which is named for Sophie Moiese, one of the most highly respected Salish cultural leaders of the 19th and 20th centuries. The commissioners also read the following land acknowledgment before each public meeting: “Missoula County acknowledges that this event takes place in the aboriginal territories of the Salish and Kalispel people.”

The Missoula Fairgrounds displays eight tribal nation flags in the Historic Plaza to honor the state's Indigenous heritage, and mark one day of the Western Montana Fair each year as First Nations Family Day.

To learn about additional ways Missoula County and CSKT are shaping tomorrow together, visit the links below:

Partnership Health Center Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee: PHC is committed to ensuring a healthy community and acknowledges this is not possible without racial justice and equity for all. PHC is taking thoughtful actions to address racism and biases surrounding gender, sexuality, class, religion and ability. The PHC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion advisory committee is exploring conventional and creative approaches to provide equitable footing for patients, staff and the community. The committee is developing initiatives with associated measurable goals in the following areas: healthcare services, hiring approach, staff training, community partners and advocacy/policy.

Missoula Invest Health: This collaborative initiative, led through the Missoula City-County Health Department with team members from Providence St. Patrick Hospital, United Way of Missoula County, City of Missoula and NeighborWorks Montana, tracks local demographics and health data and engages with community residents who face persistent barriers to health. The goal is to collectively create system and policy changes designed to give all residents the opportunity to thrive and achieve a good quality of life.

Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator: Missoula County hired an ADA coordinator to help the County stay in compliance and keep in mind ADA needs at meetings, events, online and elsewhere.

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