Indian Reservation Wants Job Training Dollars From The State, But Not Oil Industry Jobs


Via Million Dollar Way, the leadership of the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation addressed the North Dakota legislature last week and asked for more funding from state tax revenues for job training and development on their reservation:

The chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa asked lawmakers from oil-rich North Dakota on Thursday to support job training to help lower the high rate of unemployment on the state’s reservations.

Not mentioned in the Bismarck Tribune article is the fact that the Turtle Mountain Tribe last year also passed a resolution banning fracking on their land.

The irony, of course, is that the tribe wants money from “oil rich” North Dakota which is only “oil rich” because fracking sparked a resurgence in the state’s oil production.

The further irony is that the tribe wants money to subsidize job creation and training, but they don’t seem to want the actual jobs that would come along with oil development and all the commerce it creates. Which isn’t to say that the tribe has a lot of oil resources to develop. I’ve heard rumors of explorations up in that part of the state, and perhaps they are sitting on significant reserves. Or maybe they’re not. Either way, it’s sort of the principle of the thing.

Meanwhile, according to the tribe’s own numbers, unemployment is at 67% on the reservation, the poverty rate is at 38% and the annual per-capita income is around $9,000/year (that’s excluding, I’m assuming, government income streams).