Indigenous market coming, Costco expansion, lantern tours

Here is some business news in the Missoula area:

Indigenous manufactured Missoula, First Interstate Bank and All Nations Health Center are hosting the First Peoples’ Winter Market on Small Business Saturday, November 26 at the Missoula Fairgrounds from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Building 13. The event is free and for accessible to the public. There will be indigenous entrepreneurs, a DJ, live music, raffles, information booths and food trucks. The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center sponsors vendor booth fees, lowering the entry barrier for 20 indigenous entrepreneurs.

The Food Court at the Missoula Costco is finally open. The retail store was built in recent years for a major expansion project.

Local sportswriter Zach Kaplan was one of the many Missoula residents who rejoiced at the opportunity to get pizza at Costco.

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“In an incredible development, I am pleased to announce that the Missoula Costco Food Court is finally open again after 9(?) months of renovations,” Kaplan wrote on Twitter. “Our long local nightmare is over.”

The Cognizant Foundation donated $250,000 to University of Montana programs that support the success of the state’s Native American populations through STEM and higher education, according to a UM press release.

The donation will benefit the continued growth of the Montana American Indians in Math and Science program, which provides middle and high school Native American students with an early exposure to STEM subjects. The money will also help launch the Indigenous First-Year Experience program on campus.

“These initiatives address the fact that Native American students face barriers to higher education and that Native American students are far less likely than their non-Native peers to study a STEM subject,” said Aaron Thomas, associate professor for Chemistry and Director of UM of Indigenous Research and STEM Education, in the publication.

UM has a longstanding partnership with ATG, a Missoula-based Cognizant company that provides consulting and implementation services focused on the Salesforce platform, the press release said. Their collaboration includes a joint program that provides Montanans with continuing education opportunities to prepare them to work for companies like ATG and Cognizant.

“The University of Montana has been an integral part of Cognizant ATG’s growth, and we are pleased that Cognizant has invested in the university’s MT-AIMS and Indigenous First-Year Experience programs to pave the way to college and STEM Empowering careers for Native American students across the state of Montana,” said Tom Stergios, ATG senior vice president of strategy, IP and offerings, in the press release.

The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation has selected 100 Salvation Army food banks, pantries, rescue missions, homeless shelters and organizations across Montana to receive a total of $350,000 in additional grants to help them serve Montana’s most vulnerable citizens during the holiday season. The Foundation’s Holiday Giving Program is in addition to other grants given annually to these basic needs and is designed to provide the resources they need to ensure individuals and families receive nutritious food during the holiday season.

“Virtually all essential needs organizations continue to struggle to meet the growing demand for their services, and it is hoped that these additional funds will help address shortages of food, shelter, clothing and other basic needs,” said the foundation’s executive director, Mike halligans “Our goal with this donation is to put much-needed resources into the hands of the staff and volunteers of these vitally important organizations, especially now that the winter months are approaching.”

Missoula recipients include Missoula Food Bank, Poverello Center, River of Life Ministries Inc., Salvation Army – Missoula, Montana Food Bank Network Inc. and Union Gospel Mission of Missoula – Hope Rescue Mission.

In Montana, 1 in 10 people struggle with hunger and 1 in 6 Montana children live in households that face food insecurity, putting them at risk of starvation. Good nutrition, especially in the early years of life, is important to lay a solid foundation that affects a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity.

St. Patrick’s Hospital of Providence has received the Healthgrades 2022 Outstanding Patient Experience Award for the ninth year in a row, according to a press release. The recognition places St. Pat’s in the top 5% of hospitals nationwide for patient experience, the press release said.

The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula has announced the return of Holiday Lantern Tours from December 9th to 11th.

With this living history program, guests will travel back in time to celebrate the holiday season in western Montana through the decades,” said Stacy Carr-Poole, the organization’s development and communications coordinator. “This year’s tour includes five vignettes, with guests visiting five of our historic buildings. Visitors meet a fascinating cast of characters sharing their lives and experiences. The program is interactive and guests will help celebrate the holidays with the reenactors.”

She said there are 10 tours available over the weekend and they always sell out. The cost is free for all museum members and $10 per person for all non-members. Visit for more information.

The NanoAvionics MP42 satellite is equipped with a selfie stick and a GoPro camera. View post-camera footage of the Great Barrier Reef. Photo credit: NanoAvionics | Mash Mix: Music: Shelter from the Storm by Amaranth Cove / courtesy of

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