Billings to host tribal consultation on settlement

Billings, Montana (AP) June 2011

Billings will host the first of six regional tribal consultations on the trust land component of the government’s $3.4 billion settlement with American Indians over mismanaged royalties.

Deputy Interior Secretary David J. Hayes said in a statement last week that the talks will help free up trust lands and will involve tribal leaders from the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. A date for the Billings meeting wasn’t announced.

Native American plaintiffs claimed that trust accounts for hundreds of thousands of Indians were mismanaged by the government for more than a century, costing them billions of dollars.

The settlement calls for $1.5 billion for individual account holders. The government would use another $1.9 billion to buy broken-up Indian lands from individual owners and turn them over to tribes.



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