Indian tribes win land theft claim in Texas

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The Independent US

Two impoverished Indian tribes in east Texas could be eligible for tens of millions of dollars in compensation from the United States government for wrongs going back two centuries.

Two impoverished Indian tribes in east Texas could be eligible for tens of millions of dollars in compensation from the United States government for wrongs going back two centuries.

The move follows a court decision recognising that they were cheated out of 2.8 million acres of land by European settlers.

The ruling, the latest in a string of similar decisions over the past few years, suggests that Native Americans have at last found a way of exploiting the legal system to secure reparation payments from the US for the mass killings, land seizures and other abuses that accompanied the growth of the nation.

The Alabama and the Coushatta tribes have been fighting since 1967 for compensation both for the theft and for the financial benefits they might have enjoyed from timber, oil and gas on their pine-forested land that stretches from the Louisiana border to the hill country north of Houston.

An exact figure will have to be worked out in further hearings that could last years.

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