The Tribal Employment Rights Office was founded and based on the results of laws that allowed Indian preference in employment and contracting. These laws, in effect since the early 1960s, were poorly enforced. The Three Affiliated Tribes established a Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) in 1977 to ensure equal opportunity in the employment of tribal members. In addition, the tribe also passed a tribal employment ordinance. With increased economic activity caused by the oil boom of the 1980s, the ordinance was revised to ensure Indian contractors were afforded opportunities in the oil industry.
The Three Affiliated Tribes was one of the first tribes in the nation to start an Environmental Division of its tribal administration. In 1981, the tribe authorized an air-monitoring program. Since that time, the Environmental Division has grown to encompass a variety of programs.
The Casey Family Foundation, a nationwide nonprofit foster-care organization committed its resources to the welfare of Indian children. On the Fort Berthold Reservation, this foundation has provided financing to the Three Affiliated Tribes for the establishment of a day-care facility. This facility provides services primarily to the children of working parents and single parents who are furthering their education. The Tribal Business Council adopted North Dakota’s child care rules and regulations, and all employees must qualify under a program that certifies training in CPR, first aid, health, safety and sanitation procedures, nutrition, socialization, and early childhood development.
One of the greatest needs on the reservation is the need for housing. The Fort Berthold Housing Authority was established in 1968. Under its administration, 457 mutual self-help and low-rent housing units are maintained. The Fort Berthold Housing Authority is one of 180 such programs situated throughout Indian Country.
The Three Affiliated Tribes, with the Fort Berthold Housing Authority, currently operates a drug elimination and youth sports program, and a cultural program. Program funds provide facilities that offer alternative activities for youth throughout the year and serves as an outreach resource to all Fort Berthold communities.
The Fort Berthold buffalo herd of 350 roam freely on a 13,000 acre preserve near Mandaree, North Dakota. Considerable work went into this project to assure its independent operation. Each year the Tribe donates buffalo meat for ceremonial purposes, community functions, ceremonies, and celebrations.