Secretary Jewell heads to Oklahoma for tribal trust settlement

Choctaw Chief Gary Batton, left, and Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby in 2014. Photo from Chickasaw Nation

The Obama administration will formally announce a $186 million settlement in a tribal trust fund case tomorrow.

The Choctaw Nation and the Chickasaw Nation agreed to accept $186 million to settle a lawsuit they filed in 2005. The tribes accused the Department of the Interior and the Department of the Treasury of mismanaging their trust assets and trust funds dating back to the early 1900s.

Choctaw Chief Gary Batton and Chickasaw Gov. Bill Anoatubby will join Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in announcing the settlement in Durant tomorrow. The event takes place at the Choctaw Event Center.

The Choctaws will receive $139.5 million from the settlement while the Chickasaws will receive $46.5 million. One of the biggest issues in the case was the sale of more than 1.3 million acres of valuable timberland in the southeastern portion of the state. The tribes had argued that the sales occurred without their consent and in violation of the Five Civilized Tribes Act of 1906.

The Obama administration has settled more than 80 tribal trust mismanagement cases since January 2009.

Relevant Documents: Joint Stipulation | Order Approving Joint Stipulation | Choctaw Nation Resolution | Chickasaw Nation Resolution

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