Chippewa band's $28 million settlement expected
DULUTH — Federal legislation is advancing in Washington that would release $28 million to six northern Minnesota Chippewa bands to settle land transactions dating back to the 1800s.
The settlement is the result of unscrupulous deals that drastically reduced the amount of land controlled by the Chippewa by 1900. Five of the six bands have reached a deal on how to divide the money originally awarded in 1999. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has withheld the money pending a unanimous agreement on its distribution by all six bands, which include the Fond du Lac, Bois Forte, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs and White Earth.
Sen. Al Franken and Reps. Chip Cravaack and Colin Peterson have pushed legislation to release the funds. The bill is scheduled to be before a Senate subcommittee March 1.