Affiliated Tribes to take over policing at Fort Berthold

New Town, North Dakota (AP) 11-07

The Three Affiliated Tribes will take over law enforcement duties on the Fort Berthold Reservation beginning Dec. 1.

The tribal business council approved a resolution earlier this year to contract police duties from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The business council will discuss the budget for tribal policing, said Nathan Hale, tribal vice chairman and Mandaree representative to the business council.

The tribal police would be located in each of the six districts of the reservation, as BIA police are now, Hale said.

Tribal leaders believe law enforcement on the reservation will improve, Hale said.

“It’s for improvements and we want to have a better law enforcement, basically that’s the bottom line,” Hale said.

No police chief has been named for the tribal police force, but the business council expects to make a selection soon, Hale said.

Adrian Foote Sr., a tribal elder from Parshall and former tribal policeman, said he is skeptical about the Three Affiliated Tribes taking over law enforcement.

“We tried it once and it didn’t work out,” Foote said.

“I was one of three police for the entire reservation. We were also the game wardens, we were on 24 hours a day,” he said.

“I think the Bureau should run it. They’ve done it for years and they know the ropes,” Foote said

In the 1950s, Foote said the tribes contracted law enforcement for three years and the first year there was plenty of federal money for it.

“At the beginning we had two cops in every district,” Foote said. He said the money ran out and the tribes went back to the BIA for policing.