Law | National

Choctaw Nation seeks $58.5M from Keepseagle for foundation

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is seeking $58.5 million in unused funds from the Keepseagle settlement over discrimination at the Department of Agriculture.

The Obama administration settled the Keepseagle lawsuit for $760 million, which included $680 million in direct payments to Indian farmers and ranchers and an $80 million loan forgiveness fund. Now that all checks have been distributed, some $380 million remains and the tribe says it deserves a share.

“Tribal governments like Choctaw want to work together to ensure that the remaining $380 million in Keepseagle cy pres money is spent on the ground, in Indian country by Indian tribal governments, on behalf of actual Indian farmers and ranchers,” Brian McClain, the tribe's legislative advocate, told Indian Country Today.

The Choctaws oppose a proposal by the Keepseagle plaintiffs to set up a new foundation that would distribute the $380 million. Other tribes also oppose the idea even though the Intertribal Agriculture Council, the National Congress of American Indians, the Coalition of Large Tribes, the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said they support it.

The Choctaws plan to use the $58.5 million for the Jones Academy Foundation, which supports the
Jones Academy, a boarding school.

Get the Story:
Choctaw Nation Wants Keepseagle Millions Awarded to Tribe’s Foundation (Indian Country Today 9/5)
Tribes Don't Like Keepseagle Lawyers Controlling $380 Million of Settlement (Indian Country Today 9/4)

Relevant Documents:
Keepseagle Status Report (August 30, 2013)

Related Stories:
Keepseagle foundation would share $380M with Indian Country (9/3)
Magazine: Farmers hope for new era with USDA settlement (8/27)
Most of Indian farmer discrimination settlement goes unspent (04/26)

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