Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller, cabinet agency leaders and other state officials today attended the grand opening of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation’s new administration headquarters at 4 Bears Park near New Town.
Miller congratulated MHA Nation on the new headquarters and thanked MHA Chairman Mark Fox and the entire Tribal Business Council for their leadership and ongoing collaboration with the state, noting tribal engagement is one Gov. Doug Burgum’s five strategic initiatives.
“Congratulations on this great facility and your grand opening. It is a very beautiful, functional, state-of-the-art facility,” Miller said before a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Thank you for having the vision to create a facility not only that meets your needs today, but that will meet your needs well into the future.”
Overlooking Lake Sakakawea, the 47,000-square-foot building will serve as the new capitol building for the MHA Nation. The complex also includes a 17,500-square-foot government support wing for a future federal agency.
Miller highlighted recent progress on state-tribal issues during this year’s legislative session:
- In ongoing efforts to strengthen state-tribal relationships, Burgum signed HB 1385, which allows the State Water Commission to directly enter into agreements with tribal nations for a cost-share program that provides state funding for water development projects, including water supplies, flood protection and other general water management efforts, rather than having to go through an eligible non-tribal partner.
- Burgum also signed SB 2377, which allows each of the five tribal nations with whom North Dakota shares geography to enter into a tax-sharing agreement with the state on alcoholic beverages sold at the retail and wholesale levels within their respective reservations. Tribal nations that adopt the alcohol tax will keep 80% of the tax revenue, while the state’s general fund will receive 20%. Burgum said the bill creates a fair and uniform framework for taxing alcohol on reservations while ensuring that the bulk of the revenue goes to the tribes to support addiction treatment and other programs.
- The Native American scholarship was nearly doubled to $1 million and grants to tribally controlled community colleges increased to $1.4 million.
- SB2073 allows North Dakota Information Technology to provide IT and cybersecurity services to tribal schools and colleges should they choose to utilize the services.
- The governor also signed legislation codifying the Indian Child Welfare Act in state law.