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Opinion
Jodi Rave: Tex Hall leaves tribe with $100M-plus debt


"When a tribal government is run well, you can typically give credit to the person in charge.

The same can be said when things go badly. You can trace disorder to poor leadership and a lack of accountability.

Such has been the state of affairs among the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota, home of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara.

A newly elected tribal chairman is seeking a federal audit of the $105 million debt amassed under the two terms of Tex Hall, the previous chairman.

Past leaders have served our people well. They didn't need new trucks, cell phones or massive travel budgets. Previous tribal leaders looked to the future of the tribe.

Our past, as well as our future, have been tied to a $148 million trust fund, or JTAC - Joint Tribal Advisory Committee - economic recovery fund.

The tribe received the money as compensation from the federal government after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flooded 150,000 acres of our land along the Missouri River.

Hall started to use JTAC funds as soon as he took office. He was elected in the fall of 1998. The council authorized a $3.6 million withdrawal from the fund in 1998.

By the end of 2000, $25 million was withdrawn. Between 2000 and 2004, another $41 million was withdrawn. Hall's term ended in 2006.

It's not clear where or how the money was spent, hence the pending audit."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Corrupt leader damages our future (The Missoulian 2/11)

Relevant Links:
Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation - http://www.mhanation.com

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