[Ed. – No word yet from Sen. Elizabeth Warren]
The U.S. government has agreed to pay a total of $492 million to 17 American Indian tribes for mismanaging natural resources and other tribal assets, according to an attorney who filed most of the suits.
In a joint press release by the Departments of Interior and Justice, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel said, “Settling these long-standing disputes reflects the Obama Administration’s continued commitment to reconciliation and empowerment for Indian Country.”
The settlements mark the end of a push by the Obama administration to resolve what the U.S. says is more than 100 lawsuits totaling more than $3.3 billion brought by American Indian individuals and tribal governments against the federal government. The policy of reaching settlements on the disputes, some of which date back more than a century, is part of a campaign promise the president made to American Indians before he took office.