Blood and black gold: natural resource extraction and violent crime on American Indian reservations

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Date

2023

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Agriculture

Abstract

Using 2001 to 2016 precinct-level crime data, I examine the relationship between natural resource development in the Bakken oil fields and violent crime on American Indian reservations. While previous studies find positive effects of the Bakken oil boom on crime, the impacts of the oil boom on crime within reservations have never been evaluated. I find that the increase in crime caused by the Bakken oil boom was significantly more severe in reservations, driving the increase in regional crime found by other studies. These results suggest that community safety outcomes should be considered by federal, state, and tribal governments for future natural resource development on reservation.

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