NEW TOWN School officials from six schools on the Fort Berthold Reservation were presented with checks of $100,000 each from the Three Affiliated Tribes to go toward combating drugs and alcohol.
The money was presented to school officials from New Town, Parshall, White Shield, Mandaree and Twin Buttes at a Feb. 14 ceremony held in the tribal council chambers west of New Town. Tex Hall, tribal chairman, and council representatives from the segments of the reservation made the presentations.
The money was budgeted in the tribes' 2013 budget that was passed in December 2012.
School officials and Three Affiliated Tribes’ business council posed for a photo Feb. 14 after a ceremony when the six schools on the Fort Berthold Reservation received $100,000 each. Standing left to right, Fred Fox, White Shield council representative and school board president; Grant Greg Johnson, White Shield principal; Mark Grueneich, Parshall principal; Ramona Two Shields, Parshall School Board member; Dan Uran, New Town School business manager; Ken Hall, New Town/Little Shell council representative; D.J. Driver, New Town School Board member; Mervin Packineau, Parshall/Lucky Mound council representative; Martha Hunter, New Town School Board member; Carolyn Bluestone, Mandaree School superintendent; V. Judy Brugh, Four Bears council representative; Ann Grinnell, Mandaree School Board member; Sandy Starr, Twin Buttes principal; Merlein Sorenson, Twin Buttes School Board president; and Tex Hall, chairman of the tribal business council.
"We allocated $1 million for the (tribal) Drug and Alcohol Task Force," Hall said. "When working on the budget, we wanted to include schools in the war on drugs and alcohol.
"As tribal leaders, we view education as more crucial in forming a young person than fighting drugs and alcohol later in life. This is an investment in our future. We need to catch drug addiction before it becomes central to a person's life. I know you (schools) will put the money to good use."
Dan Uran, New Town school business manager, said North Dakota was one of the first states to have cameras in schools. He said the cameras were added not because kids were bad but to control situations.
All the school officials agreed the funds will go a long way toward enhancing security at the isolated communities and provide a safer learning environment for students.