Tribal members to receive more than $67 million

When all the payments from the Indian trust settlement are completed, members of tribes in North Dakota and members of other tribes who live in the state will have received more than $67 million.

The first checks of $1,000 each from the historic Cobell lawsuit (Cobell v. Salazar) were mailed in mid-December to nearly 264,000 people nationwide and also worldwide who are in the Historical Accounting Class.

Members of the Trust Administration Class will be paid later this year.

The lawsuit was filed in 1996 by lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell against the U.S. Department of Interior for mishandling Indian trust funds and accounts.

David Smith, an attorney with Kilpatrick Townsend, the Washington, D.C., law firm representing the plaintiffs, said members of the tribes on the four reservations in North Dakota Fort Berthold, Turtle Mountain, Spirit Lake and Standing Rock, and members of other tribes who live in North Dakota, will receive the following, in totals:

Historical Accounting Class: $13,169,000.

Trust Administration Class: $54,548,000.

According to Smith, following are the amounts paid or to be paid to members of tribes from the reservations in North Dakota who live in the state (the amounts are approximate numbers):

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

Historical Accounting Class: $6.6 million.

Trust Administration Class: $16 million.

Three Affiliated Tribes

Historical Accounting Class: $2.7 million.

Trust Administration Class: $26 million.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Historical Accounting Class: $2.4 million.

Trust Administration Class: $5.2 million.

Spirit Lake Tribe

Historical Accounting Class: $2 million.

Trust Administration Class: $4 million.

Tribal members who have questions or to update their contact information on their Individual Indian Money accounts can visit the Cobell website at (www.cobellsettlement.com) or call its toll-free number at 1-800-961-6109. People can also call the law firm at 866-383-6554.