• T. Mark Mangum

Hopes Dashed

At first, we thought we’d struck it rich and that we’d be able to live high, in leisure, and pull our tribe, our families, and our community out of poverty. We started listing all the ways we’d spend the money. We were foolish young men barely out of high school.

Oil it was and it belonged to Northern Texas Chippewa Tribe. Rick’s Grandparents were two of fifteen Elders of the Tribe when we told them about the oil, they just laughed.​

“Boys that area of the reservation has been called The Valley of Black Waters, for ages.”​

Our Ferrari dreams died faster than they had begun. The Elders would never allow the industrialization of Reservation land, especially for the extraction of oil. Over the years Rick, Jimmy, and I took a stab at trying to convince the tribal Counsel to develop the Oil Reserve for the financial sake of the Tribe and for our own protection.​

“How long do you think the White Man will wait once they truly understand what is here before they do what they have always done, and take what is ours.” I had said after returning to the reservation from college.​

Then it happened, the old had passed a new council seated and Aron Oil, filed a lawsuit, claiming that ten years ago the Council had signed a lease with them to extract the oil. In true Occupier fashion, the courts and the White Man’s Government took what was ours.


Published in the Medium on line publication The Short Place, Please consider Joining Medium as a paid member. When you read my works on Medium I get paid.


Copyright: T. Mark Mangum, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of my story may be copied, reprinted, or published without my written consent.

T. Mark Mangum, is the product of the 60s and 70s, his imagination, wonder, thoughts, and ponderings, emboldened by Star Trek, Star Wars, Conan the Barbarian, and The Hobbit. He loves a good story and hopes you will love reading his stories. Veteran, Father, TTRPG, and board Game Junkie. He spent 20 years in the United States Army, another 10 working for the government, before realizing he should write.

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