Expect at least 12 more weeks for Salazar per cap check distribution

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by Tasiyagnunpa Livermont

Members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe could well expect to see tulips this spring, before they see individual payments from the Salazar settlement voted on last November.

It could be up to twelve weeks after the federal court judge signs the court order. Just signing the order may take up to a month.

“Those federal judges, you don’t prod them, you allow them to do their work,” said CRST Chairman Kevin Keckler.

All the information needed by the Federal District Court and collected by CRST has now been submitted to the Department of Justice, said Keckler. They in turn have submitted the information to the federal judge that will sign and order the disbursement.

The necessary information has been on the federal judge’s desk for about 10 days. The judge may have the order signed by the end of February, Keckler said.

After the judge signs the order, the Department of Justice has eight to 10 weeks to make the bulk disbursement, which would put the money into the hands of the tribe for payments to attorneys, other fees and to members.

Keckler said at that point, the tribal council will review and verify recipients. That process will last about two more weeks.

According to a CRST press release on November 24, 2012, the CRST Tribal Council, after the settlement acceptance was filed in November, then had to review the lists of eligible tribal members.

According to CRST documents, each per cap member disbursement can be expected to be $1000, for all those living by October 31, 2012.

According to a press release by Keckler’s office on November 6, 2012, “the legal voters of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe voted overwhelmingly 1904 to 459 to accept a proposed settlement with the United States Department of Justice General Litigation Division in Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe v. Salazar, No: 06-cv-00935-JR, a case brought by the Tribe against Department of Interior Secretary Salazar pursuant to federal laws that allowed Indian Tribes to sue the U.S. for mismanagement of trust assets.”