Elsewhere online
December 02, 2014

Native Groups Oppose Using Settlement Money for Foundation

Some American Indian organizations are objecting to a plan to channel $380-million from a federal discrimination settlement to create a new charitable foundation, saying the money should go to existing organizations serving Native American farmers, the Associated Press reports.

The funds were unexpectedly left over from the 2011 settlement of a class-action suit brought by farmers who said they were discriminated against in the awarding of federal loans. The agreement called for unspent funds to be distributed among Indian agriculture groups, but plaintiffs' attorneys said none were equipped to handle so much money and proposed establishing a large, Indian-led charity instead.

The plaintiffs themselves and other Indian groups want the money to go to existing charities or be paid directly to farmers who suffered discrimination. The foundation plan is under review by a U.S. District Court judge.