Law | Trust

Expect more announcements for tribal trust fund settlements

Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, three tribes have reached significant trust fund settlements.

Indian Country can expect more announcements in the coming months, Interior Secretary Salazar said in Washington, D.C., today. Upwards of 50 to 60 tribes have been offered settlements by the Obama administration.

"We're committed here to make sure the job gets done," Salazar said as the National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform met for the first time.

Solicitor Hilary Tompkins, a member of the Navajo Nation, has been at the table for settlement discussions. When she came on board at Interior, she was met with "lots of litigation," she said today.

"It was very apparent what decades of litigation had done to the relationship" between the federal government and Indian Country, Tompkins noted.

So far, the Fort Peck Tribes of Montana, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington and the Osage Nation of Oklahoma have reached major settlements of their trust fund cases. The Osage Nation received its $380 million payment late last year.

More than 100 tribes have trust management lawsuits pending in federal court.

Related Stories:
Fort Peck Tribes reach $75M trust management settlement (2/28)
Colville Tribes reach $193M trust management settlement (2/27)

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