Federal Government Settles Lawsuit With Tribes For $3.4 Billion - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Federal Government Settles Lawsuit With Tribes For $3.4 Billion

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"This settlement is a successful resolution for the American people, and I hope it will receive the necessary approvals to move forwards," said Eric Holder, Attorney General. "This settlement is a successful resolution for the American people, and I hope it will receive the necessary approvals to move forwards," said Eric Holder, Attorney General.
"We are glad to see the litigation come to an end. It's been contentious over the years, and really not enabled us to move forward," said Melanie Knight, Cherokee Nation Secretary of State. "We are glad to see the litigation come to an end. It's been contentious over the years, and really not enabled us to move forward," said Melanie Knight, Cherokee Nation Secretary of State.
Knight says the mismanagement of their money was obvious to Native Americans for years and while this settlement may be overdue, it is deserved. Knight says the mismanagement of their money was obvious to Native Americans for years and while this settlement may be overdue, it is deserved.

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

UNDATED -- New developments in a long-standing federal lawsuit could mean thousands of dollars for thousands of Green Country Native Americans.

The suit was filed in 1996, and alleged that the government mishandled tribal money for decades. It was finally settled Tuesday. The federal government will pay tribes $3.4 billion.

In a rare mea culpa, the government announced the terms of a massive settlement Tuesday.

"This settlement is a successful resolution for the American people, and I hope it will receive the necessary approvals to move forwards," said Eric Holder, Attorney General.
 
The class action lawsuit alleged that ever since it was formed, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has mismanaged and misused money it held in trust for Native Americans.

The settlement money will be distributed to tribal members nation-wide, including potentially thousands here in Green Country.

Cherokee Nation says only a small percentage of its members will likely be eligible to receive money as a result of this settlement, but still says it's a victory for tribes all across the country."

"We are glad to see the litigation come to an end. It's been contentious over the years, and really not enabled us to move forward," said Melanie Knight, Cherokee Nation Secretary of State.

Knight says the mismanagement of their money was obvious to Native Americans for years and while this settlement may be overdue, it is deserved.

"The ability for the Bureau of Indian affairs to account for these accounts and these funds for a century was near to impossible.  The accounting of it was just not there," Knight said.

Tribal members who have Indian Money Accounts managed by the government are eligible for as much as $1,000 each.

A hotline has been setup for anyone with questions about the settlement.

Editor's note:  Earlier versions of this story contained an incorrect phone number.  The correct number is 1-800-961-6109.

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