MANDAREE Tex Hall, former chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes, announced this week that he will run again for the office of chairman.
Hall ran for a third term four years ago when he was defeated by current chairman Marcus Levings. Levings is seeking re-election.
In a news release announcing his candidacy, Hall said he is seeking the office of chairman to restore the people's voice in the tribe's business. He said he was not seeking re-election but many tribal members have approached him in recent weeks asking him to run so he can speak for them.
"I am running because the people have asked me to," he said. "They don't feel represented and they don't feel like they have a say anymore and they want reform. I am running to change that, and bring back respect and integrity to the chairman's office."
"We have no financial accountability on tribal funds and revenues, including oil and gas lease bonuses and royalties, casino revenues, or unpaid new homes for the few chosen ones. Everyone is going to be accountable," he said.
He also said tribal individual allottee and landowners and tribal members have complained they are not represented by the tribal council or the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
"Others have complained about the way oil development has occurred and wondered why the tribe did not do more to protect their interests when cutting deals with big oil companies, whereby the tribal council sold leases to some companies for pennies on the dollar and never conducted a public bid sale to get the best price nor drilling commitments, and stood by and did nothing when the people complained about this unfair process," he said.
"The time for sweetheart deals is over and the tribe needs to conduct a fair process," he said. "We can't stand by and watch outside oil companies come and use up our land without even having a bid sale. We cannot compromise our land, water and cultural resources."
He said the frustrations by the people on what happened to them the last four years "are huge and without constitutional reforms we have no voice or say."
Hall said his plans include creating constitutional reforms for the enrolled members, increase council membership for each community, create a financial report to show the debt the tribe has incurred and create an oil and gas trust fund for the membership.
Hall is president of the Fort Berthold Allottee Land & Mineral Owners' Association, owner of Maheshu Energy, LLC, Red Tipped Arrow, LLC, Red Arrow Homes & Development, LLC and Tex Hall Ranch, and head of several national tribal organizations including the Intertribal Economic Alliance, and the Native American Basketball Invitational.
The tribes' primary election will be Sept. 21 and the general election is Nov. 2. Candidates have until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 10 to file with the secretary's office of the tribal business council.