Buffalo's Fire Video: Trespass: Tribe, contractor sued for Missouri River water sales

'You just simply cannot trespass on somebody’s land': Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation hit with lawsuit

Citizens of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation are suing leaders of their tribe for allegedly trespassing on their land, Buffalo's Fire reports.

Three brothers -- Gabriel, Howard and Charles Fettig -- filed the lawsuit in federal court in North Dakota. They say the tribe is using their land without their consent.

“You just simply cannot trespass on somebody’s land, then on top of it, convert it into millions of dollars a year," Tex Hall, a former chairman of the tribe who currently serves as president of the Fort Berthold Allottee Land and Mineral Owners Association, a group that represents individual Indians on the reservation, told Buffalo's Fire.

The land is being used for a system of pipelines in which water from the reservation is sold to the energy industry. The water comes from the Missouri River, which runs through the Fort Berthold Reservation.

The pipelines cross land owned by tribal citizens like the Fettigs, who say they didn't approve. The brothers estimate that hundreds of fellow citizens are in the same situation.

“There’s a flat hose across my land and I don’t know how it got there and nobody talked to me," Gabriel Fettig told Buffalo's Fire.

The lawsuit is Fettig et al v. Fox et al, 1:19-cv-00096. The named defendants include Mark Fox, the chairman of the tribe.

The Buffalo's Fire report by Jodi Rave is accompanied by a video report from Charles Kennedye.

Read More on the Story
Brothers sue TAT chairman, rural water ‘pioneers’ for Section 17 trespass (Buffalo's Fire November 7, 2019) Trespass: Three Affiliated Tribe’s sued for Missouri River water sales (Buffalo's Fire November 11, 2019)

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