Southern Ute Tribe pressured to share more of $126M settlement

Homes on the Southern Ute Reservation in Colorado. Photo: jsvanstar

Citizens of the Southern Ute Tribe are trying to get their leaders to distribute more of a $126 million trust fund settlement.

The tribe already shared 60 percent of the settlement on a per capita basis. But some want the rest and are circulating a petition to put the issue to voters, The Durango Herald reports.

“We’ve always operated in secrecy, and I don’t know where that comes from,” Arline Millich told the paper. “I want to be able to know what’s going on in the tribe. I want to know how much money we have.”

A separate petition seeks a recall of Chairman Clement Frost and four of six council members, the paper reported. Millich and other critics say the council hasn't been forthcoming with information about their finances.

The Southern Ute Tribe settled a trust mismanagement case in September 2016 for $126 million.

The $126 million settlement was one of the last finalized during the Obama administration. It resolved decades of mismanagement of the tribe's trust funds.

The award was among the largest of the 100-plus settlements reached by the federal government between 2009 and 2016.

Read More on the Story:
Southern Ute members rail against leadership (The Durango Herald 3/18)

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