On April 11, the Obama administration announced its intent to resolve 41 long-standing disputes with tribal governments over the federal mismanagement of trust funds and resources by paying the tribes $1.023 billion. The settlement funds do not have to be approved by Congress but instead will come from the United States’ Judgment Fund.
The settlements also hope to establish a framework for promoting tribal sovereignty and improving nation-to-nation federal-tribal relations, while trying to avoid future litigation.
The announcement was made at a White House ceremony. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar called the settlements a “deliverance” on the promise Obama made to Indians when campaigning for president in 2008.
Charlie Galbraith, from the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs said: “Many of the cases include claims by the tribes that go back over 100 years . . . .”