Oglala woman settles suit based on 1868 treaty

A lawyer for an Oglala Sioux woman who was sexually assaulted by a U.S. Army recruiter says a settlement has been reached and the federal government will pay the woman $650,000 in damages.

Adam Horowitz of Miami says the settlement leaves intact a federal judge’s ruling that the federal government had to pay damages to Lavetta Elk under an 1868 treaty that required the government to reimburse citizens of Sioux tribes for any wrong done by “bad men among the whites.”

The government had appealed the judge’s ruling, but the settlement was reached before the Federal Court of Appeals heard the case. Horowitz says the settlement creates a strong precedent that Native Americans to use treaty rights to recover damages.

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