Native Americans & the Oil Boom | VideoAmy Fox | 11/14/2012
"It was something that came upon us suddenly," said Native American Historian Calvin Grinnell.
Now, Native Americans are taking full advantage of the oil boom.
Grinnell said, "We want to enjoy these benefits that come from oil development."
But, with all that wealth comes many challenges and hardships.
"Well, it`s a blessing and it`s a huge curse,” explains Grinnell. “We have increased traffic accidents, increased traffic. We have threats to our environment and we`re trying to deal with it."
With the help tribal government and oil companies, Native Americans are working to fix the current problems.
"They`re doing their part and are attempting to help out. They`re training people. They`re helping our tribal and state officials."
While many things have changed for Native Americans in North Dakota, Minot State University is hoping to bring the history lessons to life and pass down the traditions for generations to come.
"We want our young people to know that their identity, Native American culture is so rich in this state,” said MSU Native American Center Director Annette Mennem. “We want our Native American youth to grow up knowing that they should be proud of who they are."
As Grinnell explains, “They should take advantage of the opportunity and learn about their culture and learn about their history and make a contribution to society."
While the oil boom will come and go, Native American history and culture will be around for years to come.
Minot State University`s Native American Cultural Awareness Club will hold a panel discussion Thursday to answer tough questions about Native American culture and North Dakota`s oil boom.