OUR PLANNING STRATEGY

The Fort Berthold Comprehensive Regional Transportation Plan is the Three Affiliated Tribes’ first community-based and leadership driven effort to think and act strategically about the role of transportation infrastructure in our future success and quality of life. These subject areas impact a wide range of issues including the environment, the economy, jobs, health, safety, and overall quality of life!

 

Our Strategy

Community input and involvement is crucial to the success of this project. The innovative and effective Community Readiness model helps ensure community engagement and project support on our own terms and timeline.

Projects

Achieving reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for Fort Berthold is a community-driven initiative. Learn more about the Fort Berthold Comprehensive Regional Transportation Plan and its project components!

Funding

MHA Nation was successful in competing for a $1,000,000 TIGER Grant through the US Department of Transportation. Learn more about TIGER, how we competed for the funding, and what it means for the transportation systems in our community.

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The topics that will be addressed (roads, highway safety, bridges, public transit, ferry service, railroads, aviation, pipelines, and electric power) are complex and expensive. They also involve trade-offs that must be carefully considered and a long term commitment to plan, construct, maintain and operate. The success of the Fort Berthold Comprehensive Regional Transportation Plan is dependent on community engagement, strong leadership, clear research and analysis, and a clear strategic vision. The Fort Berthold Comprehensive Regional Transportation Plan process will take 12–16 months to complete. During this time there will be a series of public meetings designed to provide information, identify areas of interest, areas of concern, areas of research, and a basis for future decisions and directions. Subject matter experts will be hired to assist in the research and analysis that supports rational decisions. There may not be a unanimous opinion among the Fort Berthold community about specific areas, but with good participation and engagement, there will be areas of consensus. This consensus will be the basis for a long term commitment of resources to make Fort Berthold a safe, prosperous, culturally rich place to raise a family, have a business, and secure our future.

This project is designed around the unique culture, governance, and strategic goals of the Tribe and is built to increase the knowledge and participation levels of Tribal members (on and off reservation) about future development; including outreach activities that engage the youth, elders, veterans, spiritual leaders, businesses, schools, programs, and neighbors. Our approach is designed to build trust and cohesion between Tribal government, local organizations, our Tribal communities, and other stakeholders and partners in the region in order to continue creating a brighter future for the next generations. If Fort Berthold wins – the entire region wins too.

There are two major themes that will run throughout the planning process and that the community members and leaders will encounter. First we want to answer the questions: Where are we from? Where are we now? Where do we want to be 20 years from now? These are important dots to connect in order to establish a strong foundation for understanding our current situation and forming a consensus for future endeavors. The second major theme or strategy is to incorporate the Community Readiness Model as a means to assess the readiness of the community to address each subject area. Here, the community is the people, leaders, and institutions together as one. Our chances for success are dramatically increased if we have understanding and consensus among these groups. For more information on the Community Readiness Model, see below.

Why is Planning Important?

Tribal Self-Determination and Sovereignty.

Planning supports MHA Nation’s self-determination and sovereignty by determining the framework and agenda for the future that is driven by the Tribe.

Clear Direction and Vision.

Good governance includes taking responsibility for developing a strategic plan that clearly outlines our communities’ long term vision, goals, needs and wants of the Tribe. Planning is essential to identifying existing problems, providing a road map for addressing those issues and for turning our goals into direct actions.

Sustainable Funding.

Planning is essential for developing a foundation for securing and managing future federal and state funding, for making investments in our community, and for cultivating a strong and sustainable Tribal economy for the region and the state.

What is the Community Readiness Model?

In order to ensure community engagement in the planning process, the innovative and transformative research methodology known as the Community Readiness Model will help us understand how to most effectively engage with and support the community, ensure that the plans address specific transportation needs and that the plan is accepted and used by the public. This efficient, inexpensive and easy-to-use tool was developed by a team of researchers in the Tri-Ethnic Center at Colorado State University as a means of “creating community change while integrating the culture of a community, the existing resources, and the level of readiness to more effectively address an issue” (Community Readiness Manual, p. 5). Most importantly, it allows a community to define issues and strategies in their own context, encourages community recognition and ownership and helps ensure that strategies are culturally compatible and sustainable in the long-term.

Bubar & Hall Consulting assessed MHA Nation’s Community Readiness score for the transit portion of the Comprehensive Regional Transportation Planning to be 3.1. This score was determined by conducting interviews with Fort Berthold residents, leadership and service providers. These interviews were then analyzed, discussed and scored (based on the Community Readiness scoring system) in order to assess MHA Nation’s readiness for the transit planning portion of the project. Because Community Readiness is central to our approach, we will conduct a similar study for each component of the plan. We will aim to continue moving to the next level of community awareness by using some of the following strategies:

  • Make one-on-one visits with community leaders/members
  • Visit established small groups to share information with them about public transit and community transportation needs
  • Approach and engage local services and programs to assist in the education and awareness effort by including flyers, posters, or brochures in their materials or outreach efforts
  • Prepare and submit short informational “blurbs” on public transit for church bulletins, local newsletters, club newsletters, etc.

 

About the Project Manager

The Tribal Council passed Resolution No. 13-145-VJB to hire Bubar & Hall Consulting, LLC as the Project Manager of the Fort Berthold Comprehensive Transportation Plan project. Ron Hall, President of Bubar & Hall Consulting, LLC is the lead consultant. Mr. Hall is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes and the son of Edward Jr. and Delphine (Youngbird) Hall. He is a licensed attorney with 30 years of experience representing and advocating for tribal interests, including governments and Native American owned businesses. He spent 20 years at Colorado State University as the Director of the Tribal Technical Assistance Program where he provided transportation based research, technology transfer, and training to tribes in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, and across the country.

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