North Dakota

INDEPENDENT LENS
My Country No More

INDEPENDENT LENS: My Country No More

 

Between 2011 and 2016, oil drilling in rural North Dakota reached its peak, setting off a modern-day gold rush in the quiet, tight-knit farm town of Trenton, North Dakota, population less than 1000. With billions of dollars to be gained in an industry-friendly state with a “reasonable regulation” climate, small towns like Trenton became overwhelmed by an influx of workers, and countless acres of farmland were repurposed for industrial development. Through the voices of Trenton’s residents, My Country No More challenges the notion of “progress” and questions the long-term human consequences of short-term approaches to land use, decisions that ultimately affect all Americans, rural and urban alike.

 

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AMERICA BY THE NUMBERS WITH MARIA HINOJOSA
Native American Boomtown

 

The Bakken oil boom is bringing billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to North Dakota. A substantial part of the oil production is concentrated on an Indian reservation. Fort Berthold Reservation’s 1,000-plus oil wells have brought in money and jobs for some, but oil has also brought danger – organized crime, hard drugs, traffic fatalities – and other problems. Tribe members speak about the benefits and consequences of the boom.