£2.1bn is record payout for American Indians
Wednesday 22 June 2011
A Federal judge has approved a $3.4 billion (£2.1 billion) payout to American Indians in a case that represents the largest legal settlement ever agreed by the US government.
Elouise Cobell of Browning, Montana, claimed in the 15-year-old suit that for more than a century, US officials systematically stole or squandered billions in royalties intended for American Indians in exchange for oil, gas, grazing and other leases.
US District Judge Thomas Hogan approved the settlement late on Monday after a day-long hearing and said: "The government mismanaged these resources on a staggering scale."
The settlement still does not make up for the losses Indian tribes suffered for more than a century, Mr Hogan added, but "at least it provides some certainty" to hundreds of thousands of individual Indians who will now receive payments of least $1,000 each. Many will receive substantially more.
Ms Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe, will receive $2 million, and three other named plaintiffs will receive payments ranging from $150,000 to $200,000 each.
The lawsuit was settled in December 2009 after years of court battles and appeals but the case still needed Mr Hogan's approval.
President Barack Obama said the decision "marks another important step forward in the relationship between the federal government and Indian Country".
Under the settlement $1.5 billion will go to at least 300,000 Indian account holders. Another $1.9 billion will be used to buy back and consol- idate tribal land that has become subdivided and difficult to manage over the years.
An additional $60 million will go to a scholarship fund for Indian students.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...