House approves $28 million payment to Minnesota Chippewa tribe

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives has signed off on a $28 million settlement with the Minnesota Chippewa tribe.

The payment stems from a 1999 legal settlement between the Chippewa bands and the federal government over land and timber transactions from 1889.

Under the terms of the settlement, each tribe member will receive $300. The government of the six Chippewa bands will each receive multimillion-dollar payments.

Only five of the six Chippewa bands have supported the final settlement allotment, but U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson said the final deal was “as good as we can do.

“We don’t want the perfect to be the enemy of the good, and it’s time that we got this settled,” Peterson said.

U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack co-sponsored the bill, which the House passed Monday night. U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar have sponsored a Senate version of the bill.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/19/2012 - 12:42 pm.

    “as good as we can do”

    In 1889 the Chippewa got screwed out of government leases on timber and mineral rights.

    125 years later, the great white father in Washington says “Ok, fine, you’re right. Here’s $300, now go away.”

    The Sioux were cheated similarly when the BIA land management accounts that were supposed to be kept to record oil and gas lease payments over the past 150 years were lost or destroyed. My conservative estimate was that each account was worth a minimum of $100,000.

    We were told over a year ago that they settled up for about $1,000 per account. A penny on the dollar. The money was never actually disbursed because it’s still held up by the bureaucracy.

    And people wonder why Indians despise the federal government.

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