February 25th, 2016 Last Updated on: August 14th, 2016
Great news, “a judge has approved a nearly $1 billion settlement between the Obama administration and Native American tribes over claims the government shorted tribes for decades on contract costs to manage education, law enforcement and other federal services” (Seattle Times)
According to the Seattle Times, “nearly 700 tribes or tribal agencies are expected to claim compensation, with amounts ranging from an estimated $8,000 for some Alaska Native villages and communities elsewhere to $58 million for the Navajo Nation” .
Like the historic Cobell vs. Salazar settlement, “the case was first filed in 1990 by the Ramah Navajo Chapter, a community of about 4,000 that became the case’s lead plaintiff, along with the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and Zuni Pueblo” , in 2012 after making its way through the court system, “the case went before the U.S. Supreme Court, which sided with the tribes and sent the case back to the lower courts before the Interior Department announced a proposed settlement in September” .
Kevin Washburn, who recently resigned from his post at the Department Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs said, “it just shows the Obama administration has been working throughout two terms to stop litigating with tribes” . (Seattle Times)
“Oglala Sioux President John Yellow Bird Steele speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque, N.M. last fall” – AP Photo by Mary Hudetz
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