MHA Nation reclaims 9,300 acres of land near Mandaree

The Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation reclaimed 9,300 acres of former fee land near Mandaree, ND. The MHA Nation submitted a fee-to-trust application for the Figure 4 Ranch Property in 2011. MHA Nation Chairman Mark N. Fox oversaw the return of the 9,300 acres, which were originally promised under the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) recently accepted the MHA Nation’s 2011 request, converting the 9,300 acres from fee to trust land, meaning it cannot be sold, alienated or transferred to non-Native Americans. The MHA Nation plans to use the land for self-determination and economic development. 

“It is a great honor to approve the transfer of these lands into trust status and to support the Tribe’s efforts to diversify its economy,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Tara Mac Lean Sweeney in a press release issued May 24. 

“The Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation has waited over seven years for a decision and I am proud that, with Secretary Bernhardt’s leadership, our office was able to overcome the barriers and red tape stalling this important application,” Assistant Secretary Sweeney continued. 

“The MHA Nation is very grateful to Secretary Bernhardt, Assistant Secretary Sweeney, and the Department of Interior staff, especially Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary John Tahsuda, for their successful completion of our land into trust application," said Chairman Fox."This significant step will positively enhance resource management and economic development for our tribal Nation. We appreciate the federal government’s efforts and commitment in this important matter!”

The 9,300 acres were originally included within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation’s boundaries under the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851.