This past week, FOX Business published a piece outlining the vehement support of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, also known as MHA Nation or the Three Affiliated Tribes, for the Dakota Access pipeline. The tribe’s chairman, Mark Fox, asserts that the Native American group would suffer detrimentally if DAPL were to shut down.
The MHA Nation acknowledges and appreciates the true economic, social, qualitative benefits of having access to the Dakota Access Pipeline. In the late 2000s, MHA Nation joined in on the state’s oil boom because of the overwhelming economic benefits. Now, MHA Nation brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from those oil resources contingent on DAPL’s operation.
“We’re a tribe that was recognized as an aboriginal trade center for thousands of years, so economic development, capitalism, we’re not strangers to that,” MHA Nation Chairman Mark Fox told FOX Business. “For thousands of years, we traded and established an economy with other tribes.”
In 2020, 60% of MHA Nation’s oil traveled through the Dakota Access Pipeline. Schools, justice centers, drug rehab centers, and other community facilities have all been built off the revenue from this pipeline’s success.
“If there was going to be a complete shutdown of DAPL, there was going to be a tremendous effect,” Fox said. That’s why MHA Nation weighed in on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s case against the pipeline earlier this year. The article reads:
“In an April declaration in D.C. District Court, MHA Nation estimated that a DAPL shutdown would cost the tribe $160 million over one year and $250 million if a shutdown lasted two years. Further, the MHA Nation declaration said it would expect an additional five traffic deaths among its members per year if the pipeline were shut down due to increased need for trains and trucks to move its oil.”
Contrary to Standing Rock’s protesting tactics and messaging, the Dakota Access Pipeline is bringing prosperity and unrivaled benefit to many Native American communities across North Dakota. The value oil and gas energy infrastructure funnels into the region is impossible to miss.