DOI to report regularly on Indian trust fund
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the Obama administration will provide regular updates on the status of the Indian trust fund.

The Interior Department holds about $3.5 billion in trust for tribes and individual Indians. The money comes from land-based activities such as mining, grazing and rights-of-way, as well as judgment funds and per capita funds that are distributed to tribes and individual Indians.

“Interior has a critically important responsibility for improving American Indian trust management—the largest land trusts in the nation,” Salazar said in a press release. “President Obama wants to bring greater public transparency to the progress that has been made to reform this vital program for American Indians.”

According to the department, the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians recorded $890 million in trust receipts during fiscal year 2008. Of the amount, $384 million went into accounts for individual Indians and $506 million went into tribal accounts. A total of $747 million was disbursed to individual Indians and tribes in fiscal year 2008.

According to the department, the Individual Indian Money (IIM) system has about 378,000 open accounts. That's significantly higher than the 260,000 accounts that the Bush administration said were open in 2003.

The department said there are about 2,700 different tribal accounts, representing 250 tribes.

Get the Story:
Press Release: Secretary Salazar Announces New Policy to Report on Indian Trust Fund Operations, Receipts and Payments (DOI 8/7)