Tribes to christen yacht ‘The Sacagawea’

NEW TOWN The Three Affiliated Tribes will be christening a yacht next week.

The christening of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation yacht, “The Sacagawea,” is scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the 4 Bears Marina, four miles west of New Town. It is open to the public. Rose Marie Mandan, a tribal elder, will provide the traditional blessing at the christening.

The yacht will provide another option for casino customers.

It will be used for dining on Lake Sakakawea. Later the plans are to use it for gaming on the lake, said Glenda Baker Embry, tribal public relations officer. She said the yacht will hold about 150 people.

The Three Affiliated Tribes’ Class III Tribal-State Gaming Compact was amended earlier this year. It expanded Class III gaming on tribal trust lands and waters within the exterior boundaries of the reservation and allow the tribes to conduct gaming on Lake Sakakawea.

The christening will be held during the MHA Nation’s annual Bakken Oil & Gas Expo Tuesday and Wednesday in the 4 Bears Event Center, west of New Town.

Presented by the Chairman’s Office and the MHA Energy Division, numerous speakers from the oil and gas industry, tribal officials and others are scheduled to speak during the two days

The expo ends Wednesday with the groundbreaking ceremony for the Thunder Butte Petroleum Services, the tribal refinery.

The ceremony, which is open to the public, will be at 4:30 p.m. at the refinery site, 2 1/2 miles west of Makoti, followed by dinner at the site.