Politics | Trust

Minnesota Chippewa Tribe awaits $28M payout in land dispute

The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe will receive $28 million under a bill that's waiting to be signed by to President Barack Obama.

After decades of litigation, the tribe received $20 million in 1999 for land and timber that was taken by the federal government in the late 1800s. Since then, the money has been sitting in a trust fund account, generating interest, due to a dispute on how to divide it.

H.R.1272, the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Judgment Fund Distribution Act, resolves the dispute and divides the money into two pots. About $12 million will be distributed on a per capita basis to the 40,000-plus members of the tribe, so each person will get around $300.

The remaining $16 million will be equally distributed to the six bands that make up the tribe. During consideration of the bill, the Leech Lake Band threatened to sue, calling the distribution unfair.

Some bands, like Fond du Lac, have already agreed to distribute their share on a per capita basis. That will mean an additional $600 for members, Chairwoman Karen Diver said.

Get the Story:
Minnesota Chippewa Expecting Funds with Possible Passage of Nelson Act (Northland's NewsCenter 9/24)

Related Stories:
Senate passes three Indian measures during late night session (9/24)
Arthur LaRose: Minnesota Chippewa trust fund bill not fair at all (05/17)
Arthur LaRose: Trust fund bill a threat to tribal sovereignty (04/24)
Norman Deschampe: Trust fund bill fair to Chippewa bands (04/24)
House Resources Committee markup for five bills of interest (04/23)
Leech Lake Band threatens litigation over share of trust fund (03/05)
MPR: House panel debates Minnesota Chippewa trust fund bill (3/2)
Witness List: House hearing on Chippewa trust fund measure (3/1)
Leech Lake chairman to testify against trust fund legislation (2/29)
Bill authorizes distribution of $28M Chippewa judgment fund (2/16)

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