Update on Salazar: No money yet

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(The following is an update from the CRST Tribal Administration to the Members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe regarding the CRST v. Salazar settlement and includes the most recent information made available to the CRST Administration.)

The US Department of Justice has yet to transfer the settlement fund to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in the case of CRST v. Salazar (06-cv-01897-TFH).  The settlement was accepted and signed by the presiding judge on February 20, 2013. Upon this acceptance we were informed by the Department of Justice that it would take approximately 6-8 weeks for the settlement monies to arrive in the tribe’s account.  This time frame is the same that was given to all other tribes and all other tribes have had the same issue with the payment arriving on a somewhat arbitrary basis.  Saturday, April 20, 2013 was the eighth week.  Tribal Administration is doing everything in their power to track the progress of this transfer. They speak weekly with the Department of Justice and are told each time that “it is being processed.”  There has been no other deadline given to the tribe as to when proceeds from the settlement will be transferred.

 Why have other tribes received their settlement funds before CRST? 

Tribes such as Standing Rock and Lower Brule have been involved in this lawsuit since its inception. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe was not named as one of the original plaintiffs in the lawsuit, our suit was subsequent and secondary to the original.  The original plaintiffs in the suit were the first to settle. It is because of this that those tribes received their settlement monies far in advance of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

Why are other tribes paying out more money than Cheyenne River?

Other tribes payment amounts differed because of their enrollment and total settlement awarded to them vary by tribe.  Again every tribe has had different situations in regards to payment.  The only similarity is that all tribes are being compensated for Federal mismanagement of their assets.

What will CRST’s payment look like?

The amount of money offered in a per capita payment for Cheyenne River will be a settlement amount divided by total tribal enrollment.  The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has 18,802 living members, to date. The settlement amount to be distributed will be approximately $30 million and include only those who are a member of the tribe one month prior to disbursement.

FOR EXAMPLE, as there are 18,802 tribal members and FOR EXAMPLE if disbursement was to take place on June 1, the $30 million dollars would be divided as follows to everyone enrolled on or before May 1, 2013:

Amount disbursed:

$30,000,000

Tribal Enrollment: 18,802

Average per member: $1,595.

How will the CRST per capita payments be disbursed?

Disbursement of funds will be based on the accepted proposal.  The proposal selected will guarantee the most efficient and timely manner in which funds can be allocated to our membership.

In conclusion

Chairman Keckler received a letter on March 22, 2013 regarding the Salazar v. Ramah case, which has to do with tribal contract monies. That case is a different case altogether than the Salazar mismanagement case in which the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe will receive a settlement from and will not affect a tribal per capita payment.  This case is about reimbursing the tribe for money taken out of BIA and IHS contracts.

A public announcement via radio, internet, newspaper, and memorandum will be made once settlement monies have reached the tribe’s account. Included in that announcement will be a plan and timetable for disbursement.

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