May 11, 2017

Justice Center to boost tribal identity


By Jerry W. Kram
MHA Nation Tribal Chairman Mark Fox knows that the winds of change that have swept over the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation have brought many negative changes also with the flow of oil industry jobs and revenue.
One of his priorities has been to increase the safety and security on the reservation by creating a modern, up to date facility to house the TAT’s law enforcement, dispatch, and tribal courts. Tuesday that dream became a reality as the new MHA Nation Public Safety and Judicial Center was officially dedicated.
“New Town used to be a spot in the middle of nowhere with no traffic lights,” said Lawrence Baker, who was the emcee for the dedication. “The oil boom brought a magnitude of people to the reservation. Where in a month we would see 100 people come to court, now we are in the thousands.”
The Center is located on a 2.3 acre plot on North Dakota Highway 23 next to Northup Grummon. The 29,000 square foot building is home to a 13,000 sq.ft. Law Enforcement Center and 13,000 sq.ft. for three tribal courtrooms and offices. The project cost a total of $17.2 million.
Fox spent much of his speech acknowledging the multitude of people and businesses that contributed to the creation of the Center. He said the plans for a permanent home for the MHA Nations law enforcement and courts has been on the drawing board for more than a decade and was a priority of the council even before he was elected.

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