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Excerpted from:  History and Culture of the Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation: Resource Guide.  (1994).  New Town, N.D. : Three Affiliated Tribes. Education Dept.

Child Care

The Casey Foundation committed financing to the Three Affiliated Tribes establishment of a day-care facility which consists primarily children of working parents and single parents who are trying to further their education. The Three Affiliated Tribes Business Council passed a resolution to adopt the state of North Dakota's child care rules and regulations. All employees must qualify under the program with certified training in CPR, first aid, health, safety and sanitation procedures, nutrition, socialization and early childhood development.


The Fort Berthold Housing Authority was established in 1968. As one housing authority among over 180 scattered throughout Indian Country, the Fort Berthold Office has taken an aggressive approach toward securing funding, necessary to provide quality homes and rentals to tribal members across Fort Berthold. Total housing units: Low Rent 410, Mutual Self-Help 310 -Total - 720.

Drug Elimination

The Three Affiliated Tribes in conjunction with the Fort Berthold Housing Authority sought and received a grant as part of a program called Drug Elimination. This program was designed to help fund and provide facilities that will offer alternate activities for youth in an effort to prevent drug and alcohol abuse. This program is also an outreach resource to all Fort Berthold communities, as the Housing Authority sponsors various youth activities throughout the year. Although the program is targeted for youth, plans are currently being made to include adults.


The Four Bears Casino and Lodge is located four miles west of New Town, in the Four Bears Community. The facility was open to the general public on July 16, 1993. Over 90 percent of the 322 employees are tribal members. The Casino currently offers lodging, restaurant, live entertainment, poker, baccarat, roulette, and slot machines, and a video arcade for the children. Proceeds will be used to aid and develop programs, tribal education, social services, economic development and administration. A Bingo Hall was added to accommodate over 300 players.


Northrop Manufacturing Corporation located east of New Town, is a facility that manufactures and develops air frames, missiles and electronic systems for the Department of Defense, NASA, and commercial aviation companies. They currently employ 95 people, 27 are tribal members. 

Mandaree Electronics Corporation is a tribally chartered corporation which was established in the Mandaree Community to train tribal members to produce or assemble MILSPEC certified items such as circuit breakers, wiring harnesses, etc. Initial technical training and equipment assistance was obtained from the Northrop Corporation and the Killdeer Manufacturing of North Dakota Corporation.

Three Affiliated Tribes Lumber Construction Manufacturing Corporation (LCM) is also a tribally chartered corporation which is a retail sales lumber yard, a construction supply lumber yard, a construction contractor, a manufacturer of house components. Since the fall of 1990, LCM has grown from 17 full-time employees to 170 full and part-time employees. LCM is the only business entity in the state of North Dakota to obtain foreign corporation status, which allows the company to compete outside the reservation.

Resource Availability

388,620 acre of the trust land are classified as range land and 76,380 acres as farm land. There are large coal deposits on the reservation. The Tribe has not leased or sold any coal. Coal deposits are estimated to be large enough to develop several power plants on the reservation. Four large coal fire power plants lie just south and east of the reservation. The largest coal deposits on the reservation are under farm land, and the people are concerned about reclamation after the coal is mined. Oil - There area fifteen producing oil wells on the reservation. At present there are none scheduled for drilling.

Resource Development

Bison - A bison herd of 350 animals roam freely on a 13,000 acre preserve near Mandaree. The Buffalo Project is now a part of the New Rockford Bison Processing Plant, the first bison processing plant in the country. Sales of excess breeding bulls and cows have brought revenue to the project. Sales of these animals reduces the over abundance of large bulls that are currently in the herd and endanger the health of young cows and calves. Also available are bison hunts specifically targeted to big game hunters, who will spend thousands of dollars to hunt a trophy bison. Each year the Three Affiliated Tribes donates bison meat for ceremonial purposes, community functions, and pow-wows.

Cattle Relending Project

The Cattle Relending Project offers tribal ranchers/prospective ranchers an opportunity to raise production cattle with their own natural resources, their own talent, along with their own land. A total of seven hundred head of bred heifers, bred cows, and cow/calf pairs (late spring 1993) were purchased and dispersed among 52 client recipients in all segments of the Fort Berthold Reservation.

Educational assistance is provided through the Fort Berthold Community through the Assistance.  Counseling and Training (ACT) Program. An example of this would be: accounting, bookkeeping, agriculture, animal husbandry, genetics and health. The original project was designed as a payment in-kind program. The recipient would receive a minimum of ten bred heifers. With a payback of 11 bred heifers returned to the Program in five years. Repayment may be designed to fit their original operations.

Municipal Rural and Industrial Water Project (MR&I)

Water quality is one of the natural resources that is often taken for granted. The drinking water Fort Berthold residents depend on and consume every day has been deemed full of environmental pollutants; therefore, presenting potential health risks for tribal members, Fort Berthold residents, Indian and non-Indian. In an effort to improve the water quality, the Three Affiliated Tribes undertook the responsibility of constructing water intake systems at the White Shield and Four Bears Communities. Water would be taken from the Missouri River System, Lake Sakakawea. Upon the completion of the water intake systems the tribe would then complete water treatment plant facilities at Mandaree, White Shield, Twin Buttes, and Four Bears Communities.

Education Department

Bureau of Indian Affairs Contract Schools are located at Mandaree, Twin Buttes, and White Shield. School capacity of grades 1-12 is 1,150.

All three schools are controlled by all-Indian school boards, which are both public school boards and BIA Public Law 95-561 boards. Parents participate in various school functions as chaperones, volunteers, and resource people and also serve on advisory committees such as Title I, Title Iv, and Johnson O'Malley (JOM).

All three reservation schools receive funds from state and federal sources, which have enable them to develop and expand their educational programs. With the implementation to Public Law 95-561 in 1978, the local school boards were given authority to develop their own local educational financial plans.

White Shield is a cooperative school and is still considered A BIA school. Mandaree and Twin Buttes are contract schools under Public Law 93-638, which means BIA funds are provided to the school under a contract with the local school board. Under Public Law 95-561, the local school board at White Shield is directly involved in all personnel actions to a certain extent. Mandaree and Twin Buttes school boards assume complete responsibility for their school staffing.

Another major change as a result of Public Law 95-561, if the establishment of the Agency Superintendent for Education position. This individual has direct line authority to the Director, Office of Indian Education Programs. The Area Office, however, still provides support service functions.

In addition to the required curriculum of the state, all three schools offer enrichment programs through various supplemental programs, such as Title Iv-OIE, Title I, state, and federal. Fort Berthold Community College

The Fort Berthold has one centralized facility in New Town, with satellite classes offered in several segments.

An adult education program contracted by the Tribe, but administered by the Fort Berthold Community College offers an opportunity for individuals to earn GED's or participate in life-coping skills activities.

The Tribe provides a limited number of scholarships in selected areas of study such as medicine, law and engineering. The Helen Gough Scholarship provides financial assistance to enrolled members of the Three Affiliated Tribes each year to nearly thirty students.

Financial assistance is available in the form of grant aid from the Three Affiliated Tribes Higher Education Grant Program to eligible students.

Health Resources

Indian Health Service provides medical services to the Fort Berthold Reservation through Minne-Tohe Health Center, the primary outpatient facility, at New Town. Three satellite clinics are located at Mandaree, Twin Buttes, and White Shield.

The Service Unit employs fifty, and provides medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, laboratory and x-ray services. Services are also provided in Public Health Nursing, Social Services, Health Education, and Optometry.

Dialysis Center

Diabetes, a disease common among Indian people, afflicts many members of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Sahnish people. The Three Affiliated Tribes Dialysis Center is the first of its kind in the Nation. This specialized medical care is now offered to Indian and non-Indian. This facility has permanent employment of nine health care professionals in a highly skilled field of expertise and employs two nurse consultants.

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