Yurok Tribe debates use of $93M trust fund

The Yurok Tribe of California will vote this fall on how to use a $92.6 million trust fund.

Citing poverty-level conditions on the reservation, some tribal members favor per capita payments. With about 5,000 members, that would mean a one-time check between $15,000 to $20,000.

But others say the money should fund tribal services, buy land and spur economic development. "If we squander that money, we’ll be in bad shape in a couple of years," Tom Willson told The New York Times.

The money comes from a trust fund that was created by Congress to settle a land dispute between the Yurok Tribe and the Hoopa Valley Tribe. The Hoopas took their $34.5 million share in 1988 while the Yuroks tested the issue in court.

Despite losing, the Interior Department said the Yuroks were entitled to their share. With interest, the fund great to $92.6 million.

Get the Story:
For Struggling Tribe, Dark Side to a Windfall (The New York Times 9/2)

Relevant Laws:
Hoopa Yurok Settlement Act of 1988 (P.L.100-580)

Relevant Links:
Hoopa Valley Tribe - http://www.hoopa-nsn.gov
Yurok Tribe - http://www.yuroktribe.org

Related Stories:
Battle over Hoopa-Yurok trust fund continues (3/27)
Hoopa Valley Tribe weighs options on trust fund (3/5)
Swimmer says $90M trust fund owed to Yurok Tribe (3/2)
Hoopa Valley, Yurok tribes at odds over $90M fund (07/17)
Calif. tribes and BIA at odds over settlement (8/2)