Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman working on development projects, despite oil downturn

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You've heard a lot about how depressed oil prices are impacting state government budgets, unemployment rates, and the North Dakota economy.

The price of a barrel of crude also has many of the same consequences for the Fort Berthold Reservation.

There are currently only 10 drilling rigs on Three Affiliated Tribes land. Four years ago there were 30.

Infrastructure development funded by oil and gas taxes continues despite a 65 percent drop in revenue from when Mark Fox was elected Chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes in November of 2014.

"I've been trying to do more with less basically but we are putting things in the ground, and we are trying to manage the best way we can, it's been tough, it's been challenging," says Fox.

Currently, a law enforcement center and courthouse are under construction in New Town and they're expected to be completed by spring of next year. New housing projects are being completed, and tribal members are taking notice of the developments.

"As far as accountability I think he's showing the people you know where the money is being spent in some places and where the money should be spent and managing it right, I know he's going through some budget stuff now, but as a member I think he's doing a great job for the people," says Blaine Fredericks, tribal member.

Fox plans to do even more. The largest project he's trying to break ground on is a drug treatment facility.

"It's just that I get a little bit frustrated because I'm trying to bring these changes, or we are trying to make this development we need to address our issues, but it's taking longer than I thought it would," says Fox.

The rehabilitation complex would cost approximately $50 million and would include a detox facility, drug treatment center and continuing care.

"Will it be done by the time I'm done? Yes," says Fox.

Chairman Fox's term is up in November of 2018, and he has personal items on his bucket list, so he only plans on serving one term.