More than dollars, oil drilling has brought hope, jobs and business opportunities to long-impoverished tribal members who have struggled for more than a century on the million-acre reservation, said Fred Fox, vice chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes.
"God gave us opportunity," Fox
said oil revenue has helped supplement federal dollars for housing, law enforcement, medical facilities and infrastructure.
"Right now, we're catching up and making huge strides," Fox
The tribe has built more than 100 homes for its members in the past year, and has made progress in building roads medical facilities and water systems, Fox
The tribe also has set aside about $250 million in trust and savings accounts.
"We never imagined anything like this would ever happen," Fox