Ian Smith

On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier gave a powerful speech at the event celebrating the newly named Beartracks Bridge that underscored his leadership and values that make him the right choice for re-election as Missoula County commissioner.

Not only has Commissioner Strohmaier cultivated a strong, government-to-government relationship with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (on whose ancestral lands the place we call Missoula County sits), but his leadership as chair of the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority has also opened the possibility of returning passenger rail to Missoula and southern Montana for the first time in more than four decades.

As a historian, I am also impressed by Commissioner Strohmaier’s acknowledgment of and respect for the deep cultural history of this place, as reflected in his work to establish the Missoula County Heritage Roundtable, preserve the LaLonde Ranch, restore historic structures at the Fairgrounds and Fort Missoula, and rename both the Sophie Moiese Room in the County Courthouse and Beartracks Bridge in honor of prominent Salish leaders who endured forcible removal from the Bitterroot Valley in 1891.

Please join me in voting to re-elect my friend and former colleague, Dave Strohmaier, as Missoula County commissioner this November!