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Omaha Tribe cooperates with federal investigation into payments

Veterans of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska participate in an annual parade on the reservation. Photo from Facebook

Federal authorities are investigating whether past and current leaders of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska received illegal payments, Kevin Abourezk reports for The Lincoln Journal Star.

In November 2012, the tribe paid $389,000 to several council members and some employees, the paper reported. The money was meant as an "incentive" for those who helped prepare documents for a contract support costs case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But the tribe hadn't actually received any money from the case at that point, the paper said. An accounting firm looked into the issue and questioned whether the payments were legal, according to the report.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is now trying to determine whether the arrangement violated federal laws. “We are fully cooperating," the tribe's attorney general told the paper.

The tribe is part of the $940 million Ramah Navajo contract support costs settlement. According to, the tribe is receiving nearly $2.84 million to resolve underpayments in self-determination contracts with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Get the Story:
Letter: U.S. Attorney's Office investigating tribal incentive payments (The Lincoln Journal Star 6/26)

Ramah Navajo Chapter Settlement Documents:
DOI Press Release | Ramah Navajo Chapter Press Release | Oglala Sioux Tribe Press Release | Zuni Pueblo Press Release | Attorneys Press Release | Settlement Q&A

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