ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The deadline for filing a claim to receive part of a $3.4 billion settlement over American Indian land royalties has arrived.
In Minnesota, the settlement of the class-action lawsuit will mean $57 million to more than 35,000 tribal members. Friday is the deadline for taking part in the settlement, one of the largest involving the U.S. government. The lawsuit filed in 1996 by Blackfeet leader Elouise Cobell argued that those who leased Indian land made money from its natural resources while the Indians remained in poverty with no accounting of royalties held in trust for them by the government.
Arlene Weous has lived on the Mille Lacs reservation in central Minnesota for 54 years. Weous tells Minnesota Public Radio News the settlement closes a long and unjust chapter in the relationship between the federal government and American Indians.
Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mpr.org