skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Native Americans Receive Checks From Massive Class Action Settlement

Aired 6/17/13 on KPBS News.

Native Americans in the Southwest have received more than $96 million as a result of the nation's largest class action lawsuit against the federal government, and an additional $312 million is expected to be sent out this fall.

Native Americans in the Southwest have received more than $96 million as a result of the nation's largest class action lawsuit against the federal government, and an additional $312 million is expected to be sent out this fall.

The money comes from a $3.4 billion settlement regarding the mismanagement of money owed to Native Americans during the last 126 years.

Since 1887, the federal government has managed land owned by Native Americans, as well as the income those lands generated. For instance, if a Native person leased land to a company or individual, the money owed to that person went to an account managed by the government.

The class action lawsuit Cobell vs. Salazar established that the money basically disappeared.

There's no clear sense of how much money was lost, however, the final amount the government had to pay was set at $3.4 billion.

Currently, about $96 million has been sent to Native Americans in Arizona, New Mexico, California and Texas.

Another round of checks are expected to go out this fall, and will be substantially more. For example, Arizona tribal members should see another $110 million in reimbursements by the end of the year.

Comments

Avatar for user 'ree_boy'

ree_boy | June 17, 2013 at 6:33 p.m. ― 1 year, 2 months ago

This article totally glosses over the historical reasons this happened. The US Government sent themselves up as the fiduciary responsible party for Native people and agreed to mange the monies in the best interest of the various (over 400) tribes. When called up do to an accounting, the government could not provide an adequate accounting. The figure Native peoples claim is much larger, but was reduced by the acts of the judge upon the case. Again, Native people in their own land get screwed by the majority government!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 19, 2013 at 2:55 p.m. ― 1 year, 2 months ago

The treatment of Native Americans by the US is atrocious and this fiduciary responsibility (lack of) is a prime example.

Cobell said "the case has revealed mismanagement, ineptness, dishonesty, and delay of federal officials."

Mismanagement
Ineptness
Dishonesty
Delay

The real motto of the US government.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 19, 2013 at 4:17 p.m. ― 1 year, 2 months ago

I love my country, that is why I hate my government.

( | suggest removal )