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  Fort Berthold Mineral Restoration Act Authorizes Transfer of Excess Garrison Dam Project Lands
September 24, 2013    
By Glenda Baker Embry, Tribal Public Relations Officer    
   The Capitol, MHA Nation-In 1984, the U.S. Congress authorized Public Law 98-602, the Fort Berthold Reservation Mineral Restoration Act.  The Act lays out the steps to return lands that are no longer needed for the Garrison Dam Project and could, therefore be returned to the Three Affiliated Tribes, Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation. 
    In 2004, Chairman Hall requested to Congress that lands no longer needed for the Garrison Dam Project be returned to the Tribes. He said this is a longstanding mission of past and present Tribal leaders to have lands they were forced to give up, and that are no longer needed for the Garrison Dam Project be returned to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation. Following a series of public comment meetings held by the ACOE in which the State objected strenuously, the transfer languished.
Once again, in July 2013, Chairman Hall asked the ACOE for the return of all lands above the 1854 mean sea level line  that were not needed for the Project be returned to Tribes.  
    In a letter to Chairman Tex Hall dated August 27, 2013, Governor Dalrymple stated if the lands were returned too Tribes’ he would have concerns about jurisdiction, management and access to the Lake.  In his response, Hall stated that all the issues the Governor is concerned about have all been addressed by the ACOE in a May 2006 report entitled “Effects Report” and by the MHA Nation.  Hall said, while we maintain that all lands should be returned, we long ago accepted that Congress limited the lands that could be returned.  In the 2006 Report the ACOE determined that it cannot return all 36,000 acres above mean sea level because they determined that about 12,000 acres are still needed for the project. The ACOE’s determination that it will continue to manage the 12,000 acres addresses the majority of your [Governor Dalrymple] comments, he said.
    Chairman Hall said, we have been waiting for the land transfer since the 1948 Taken Act;  we have waited almost 30 years for the Army Corps to fulfill the congressional directive of the 1984 Fort Berthold Mineral Restoration Act and today in 2013, we are still waiting for the fulfillment of these promises. We will not give up, he finished.
May 20, 1948 Signing away of our Homelands
“You will excuse me if I say that the members of the tribal council will sign this contract with heavy hearts. With a few scratches of the pen, we will sell the best part of the reservation Right now the future does not look too good for us.”
George Gillette, Chairman of the Tribal Business Council of the Three Affiliated Tribes upon the signing of legislation that handed 152,360,000 acres of reservation land over to the Army Corps of Engineers to be inundated by the reservoir of the Garrison Dam
Chairman Tex Hall shakes hands with Governor Jack Dalrymple at a meeting in Bismarck last month.  Behind the Chairman is North Segment Council representative Ken Hall.     
Three Affiliated Tribes
404 Frontage Road
New Town, ND 58763