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OST trying to find Indians who are owed millions
Friday, March 2, 2007
Filed Under: Trust

The Office of Special Trustee is trying to find thousands of Indians who are owed millions of dollars in trust funds.

According to Gannett News Service, $63.3 million is owed to more about 54,000 people. But without current addresses or other information, OST considers them to be "whereabouts unknown."

OST keeps a WAU list on its website. In the past, employees of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribal leaders and prominent Indian leaders like Winona LaDuke have found themselves, or their relatives, on the list.

But the agency is making progress, according to Gannett. About $79 million has been distributed to about 60,000 people, OST says.

Separately, OST keeps "special deposit accounts" because it doesn't know who owns the money. Government reports have put the total figure at about $5.7 million but tribes and Indian organization say the amount is actually much higher, in the tens of millions.

Get the Story:
Money awaits American Indians (Gannett News Service 3/2)

Relevant Links:
Office of Special Trustee - http://www.doi.gov/ost
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

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