May 9, 2013

Expo draws local protesters

Expo draws local protesters
By Jerry W. Kram

Not everyone on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation is thrilled about what the oil boom has done to the region.
More than a half dozen cars covered with anti-oil posters were parked by the side of the road to deliver the message that the oil industry is damaging the reservation’s environment and its resident’s health. Julianne Gillette said tribal residents have had no say in projects including the refinery near Makoti and a proposed oil waste site near White Shield that was ultimately shut down by the Tribal Business Council.
“The people were given no say in that refinery,” Gillette said. “We want the tribe to start spending on homes for the people, fixing our roads, more money for social welfare and stop the tribal corruption.”
Gillette said that nearly every member of the tribal council has connections with oil field contractors in violation of tribal ethics rules. However, she said, the council hasn’t named any members to an ethics commission that is supposed to oversee tribal government, so there is no one to make a complaint to.


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