Mandaree, ND

“Any drilling done on the reservation is done under the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is a federal agency. And according to federal law, any federal action that causes significant impact on the surrounding environment normally invokes an EIS– an Environmental Impact Study. Curiously, though, this federal project– the drilling being done on our reservation– has evolved without that requirement. Had the EIS actually happened, we would have had to look at every potential impact to the land, to the air, to the water, to the economy, to the culture, and to the social structure on Fort Berthold. The pros and the cons of it. It would have added an element of planning into the whole process. But because there was no EIS, the doors were flung right open, and we had rapid industrialization of an area containing undisturbed natural resources, habitat and wildlife that’s been here for eons, clean air, clean war, and people, of course, who’ve had an attachment to this land for eons.”

Joletta Bird Bear
Mandaree, ND

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