July 18, 2013

Tomorrow on the reservation

Tomorrow on the reservation
Project looks toward MHA Nation’s future
By Jerry W. Kram

Without understanding the present you can’t set a path for the future. That is part of a project that is being coordinated by Ed Hall called MHA Tomorrow.
Hall is coordinating a project funded by grants from the Bush and Northwest Area Foundations to discover what is the best of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation and build on that to lead the tribes into a more prosperous future.
Hall said he wants to start the project with a series of meetings with communities and agencies to learn what the best qualities of life are on the Fort Berthold Reservation. He said too much of the discussion on the reservation revolves around the problems faced by residents. He said that takes the focus away from the good things on the reservation and figuring out ways to expand them.
“For these meetings, I would like people to leave their problems at home,” Hall said. “I want people to brag a little bit, say what they are proud of. Then from that dream, I would ask what would they envision – what would they like to see in five or ten years. That we call a vision. We want to build a vision for our reservation.”
Hall pointed out the next few years will be an unprecedented opportunity for Fort Berthold. Oil and gas revenue to both the tribal government and allottees will peak over then next decade before dropping off sharply. The MHA Nation may never see this kind of windfall ever again.
“There’s going to be a lot of money here,” Hall said. “What the heck are we going to do with it? Where is our plan. That is what we have to build here.”
Hall said part of that vision is creating a tribal government that can handle the opportunities and burdens that the next decade will bring. He believes Fort Berthold needs to examine its current form of governance closely and and reshape it for the modern world.

The Weather Network