Idaho's Nez Perce Tribe is set to collect as much as $34 million as part of a federal agreement to settle a series of lawsuits brought by American Indian tribes over mismanagement of tribal lands and funds. Some 41 tribes from across the country are expected to be paid more than $1 billion. Other regional tribes involved in the settlement include the Coeur d'Alene, Colville and Spokane tribes. The Coeur d'Alene Tribe will receive $18 million as part of the settlement.
The tribes claimed that they had lost hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties for oil, gas, grazing and timber rights on tribal lands due to mismanaged accounts. The settlement was announced jointly by the U.S. Justice Department and the Interior Department, which manages more than 100,000 tribal leases and approximately 2,500 trust accounts set aside for the tribes.
Negotiations are continuing in dozens of other cases involving tribes that are not part of the settlement.