Chairman Mark Fox says MHA Nation has suffered more financial loss due to the pandemic than most other tribes.
He says over the last five years, the Fort Berthold reservation has expanded infrastructure more than any time in its history. As a result, MHA Nation is now 90 percent reliant on its energy production for revenue, and right now, it’s all on hold.
Of the $8 billion allotted out of the CARES Act for Tribal nations, MHA received about $17 million in the first installment. And like all tribes in the U.S., he is still awaiting the second portion of payments, which he hopes is much higher.
But, Chairman Fox says it’s not near enough for the MHA Nation. He says the federal government did not reserve nearly enough for Tribal communities in general, compared to what’s being given out to state and local governments.
“It seems like we’re always being put in that position to fight over the scraps so to speak. Help us! Help us! We shouldn’t have to sacrifice this. We shouldn’t have to lose it, so to speak, just trying to survive,” Chairman Fox added.
The Chairman says he’s been very vocal about this issue, with the White House and with Congress — as well as state representatives.