4/6/2016 10:14:00 AM Local tribes to
receive cash infusion
Local Native American Tribes are set to receive portions of a nearly $1 billion settlement reached with the government in a class action lawsuit filed in 1990. The lawsuit was originally filed in U.S. District Court in New Mexico by the Ramah Navajo Chapter because the government underpaid the tribes for administration of contracts for programs such as health and social services. The settlement amount was $940 million. After the attorneys shave off nearly $80 million of that amount, and another $5 million to $6 million goes to cover costs, what’s left is being allocated among about 700 tribes across the nation. Amounts awarded range from $8,000 on the low end, to nearly $58 million for the Navajo Nation. While the local tribes aren’t among those listed to receive the largest shares, they’re scheduled to receive more than the minimum, according to a final settlement agreement schedule dated in January. Under the settlement schedule, the Samish Indian Nation of Anacortes is scheduled to receive $730,000; the Upper Skagit Tribe should receive a little over $1.4 million; Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s share is listed as $2.68 million and the Lummi Tribe is down for $12.5 million. A Swinomish official via email on Tuesday said that information on whether the money has yet arrived and the settlement’s impact on Swinomish will be forthcoming later this week.