January 12th, 2014 Last Updated on: January 12th, 2014
Ervin Chavez remembers hearing talk around the Navajo reservation when he was young of money owed to American Indian families by the federal government for land debts.
Now 60, Mr. Chavez is one of the recipients of a $3.4 billion settlement that is being paid to Indians across the West, over royalties for land that was held in trust by the government and never reimbursed in full.
But as the payments are being made, more than 100 years after the trust program began, tens of thousands of Indians who are owed money cannot be located.
“A lot of people out here don’t even know that they have an allotment,” said Mr. Chavez, who lives on the Navajo reservation’s edge in New Mexico. “It was something their grandparents or parents had always taken care of, and they had no idea they had ownership of land.”
Read more on the story from New York Times.
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