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Opinion: Audits find widespread corruption in Indian Country

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: bia, northern arapaho, wyoming

Writer says tribal governments are misusing federal funds and going unpunished:
Native American tribes in the country have not done well in recent decades. After a brief resurgence following the civil rights movement, the surviving tribes of the United States have been pushed aside and hidden, suffering from severe poverty while the tribal governments have trouble creating an economy that allows them to live decently on the reservation. The notion of tribes building casinos to generate revenue for the reservation has not only created a new stereotype for Native Americans to endure, but has also failed, due to too many casinos being built. Now, Native Americans have to deal with corruption: The federal government and private auditors have revealed widespread corruption among certain tribes in the nation, with federal money directed towards tribes being pocketed to fund vacations, pay bills, and other personal desires.

Singled out among the tribes is the Northern Arapaho Tribe, located at the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming, near the Grand Tetons. The Northern Arapaho suffer from extreme poverty living on the Wind River reservation, with the median income for a family being only $16,000 per year. Crime is rampant on the reservation. Yet the Northern Arapaho Business Council, the tribal government, has overseen a period of corruption among its members, misusing funds granted to them by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Get the Story:
Sean Brady: Native American Tribes Waste Federal Money On Bills, Personal Trips, Casinos ( 10/7)

Related Stories:
AP review uncovers tribal mismanagement of federal funds (10/7)

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