US Secretary Visit to North Dakota
By Lisa DeVille, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara
Members of POWER requested to have a meeting with Secretary Zinke while he was here in ND. We also requested that allotted landowners have an opportunity to voice our concerns because of the federal government has stated that they want to work with tribes on rights of way for development. Will landowners have that right to have a say about what happens to OUR land?
I am very concerned about the precedent being set by our tribal business council; we have millions of dollars from oil and gas development (even though we've been drastically under paid for our leases.) Because of this the federal government has taken special interest in exploiting our lands and natural resources, is our business council is allowing it to happen? Federal government should acknowledge the government to government relationship to all tribes not smile in our faces while their hands are in our pockets.
We've forgotten our roots as the people of Nueta, Hidatsa, Sahnish nations, we need to remember that we have other people in these lands that are our relatives; the Lakota, Dakota, Chippewa. We are all northern plains tribes that survived from the river that runs through our ancestral lands. But we have few people making the calls on how the water is being pillaged and our families and communities are being left behind as few people prosper at the cost of our health.
Our elected representatives must take into account that the Department of the Interior must protect the trust responsibility of all tribal citizens, not just MHA interest. It is only now, in this new industrialized age for Indian Country that the government is willing to give us a seat at the table because they see that we have lands that is sitting on top of one of the biggest oil reserves in this continent. Our representatives need to remember what history has shown us, we cannot trust takers. They will continue to lie to our people to get what they want. This election season, I ask that the citizens of MHA Nation keep a close eye on who is willing to bend over backwards for the takers and who is actually here to protect our people, land, water, and air.