Colville Tribes agree to share settlement funds with membership

A sign on the Colville Reservation Photo from Washington Department of Transportation

Members of the Colville Tribes of Washington will share in an upcoming settlement, Chairman Michael Marchand announced on Thursday.

The tribe expects to receive about $13.4 million as part of the Ramah Navajo contract support costs settlement. Based on that figure, each member will receive a per capita payment of about $1,400.

"The council is clear that Ramah settlement funds should go to our tribal members,” Marchand said in a press release. “We believe it’s in the best interests of our membership, and in the best interest of the tribe as a whole.”

Through the Ramah settlement, the Obama administration paid $940 million to resolve underpayments in self-determination contracts at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tribes like Colville had to supplement the contracts with their own funds in order to keep critical programs running.

"The Colville Business Council is aware that the Ramah funding was intended to repay tribes for costs they should never have incurred in the first place, to assure that important health care and other services were provided to tribal members,” council member Jack Ferguson said. “We also are aware of the significant needs of our membership for basic necessities that others may take for granted. We know that this per capita will help our members to meet at least some of those needs.”

A document on lists the amounts going to the 699 tribes and tribal organizations that participated in the case.

Each tribe has to sign a claim form in order to receive its share. Chairman Marchand signed the form for the Colville Tribes last week.

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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