While there's a good chance many of you reading this article have heard the term "sister city" at some point in your lives, I'm willing to bet only a few people know what the term actually means and the history behind the Sister Cities International initiative.

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What is a Sister City

A sister city is more than just two cities who share something in common, or borrow each other's clothes from time to time. A "sister city" is an actual designation that refers to a long-term relationship between two cities in two different countries that share cultural exchanges and interactions. Perhaps unbeknownst to many, Montana has several of these unique and long-standing partnerships.

How did Sister Cities begin

The Sister Cities International organization began in 1965 as part of Dwight D. Eisenhower's post-WWII initiative to promote global peace along with international cultural, economic, and technological exchanges. Basically any community can get in on this partnership. When becoming a sister city, a community is paired with a foreign community that has a similar size and demographic profile. Once partnered, they begin working on mutual exchanges and humanitarian efforts. Think of it as a long distance pen-pal type relationship, but between two countries that want to do good things together.

Montana Sister Cities

Montana has several cities and towns involved with Sister Cities International- seven to be exact. While Great Falls did not have to look far to find her sister, some of Montana's cities have sisters across the globe from Mexico to Mongolia. Does your community have a sister city? Take a look at the gallery below and check out our list of Montana's sister cities.

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