While many tribes have oil on their lands, no reservation is booming more than the million-acre Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota, and this boom has meant a lot of money and jobs for a community that has struggled with poverty for more than 100 years.
An AP article published today takes a look at the transformation that has taken place on Fort Berthold, which sits on billions of barrels of oil. It tells how lease payments of more than $179 million have been paid to the tribe and its members, with millions more in royalties and tax revenue coming in too. There are plenty of job opportunities on the oil rigs (dozens of wells have already been drilled and another 500 or so will be operation over the next five years. Even its Four Bears Casino is now booming; casino revenues increased from $4.5 million in 2008 to $7.2 million in 2009.