North Dakota tribe to fight ruling giving minerals to state

Local News
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FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Leaders of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota and others are challenging a Department of Interior opinion rolling back an Obama-era memo stating that mineral rights under the original Missouri River bed should belong to the Three Affiliated Tribes.

The memo filed May 26 by Daniel Jorjani, solicitor for the department, says a review by Historical Research Associates, Inc. shows the state is the legal owner of submerged lands beneath the river where it flows through the Fort Berthold Reservation.

At stake is an estimated $100 million in oil royalties waiting in escrow to be claimed as well as any future payments.

The tribe says it will likely file a federal lawsuit.

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