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Public Statements

Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Judgement Fund Distribution Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1272, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Judgment Fund Distribution Act of 2012. As a Member of the Native American Caucus, I have worked with my colleagues in Congress to address the needs of Native Americans.

This legislation authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to reimburse the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe for the amount, plus interest, that the Tribe contributed for the payment of attorneys' fees and litigation expenses associated with the litigation of Docket No. 19 and No. 188 before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the distribution of judgment funds.

This legislation before us today is not a handout, but a guarantee that directs the fair distribution of funds to a claim awarded to Native Americans by the United States Court of Federal Claims; these funds have been held in trust since June 22, 1999.

Mr. Speaker, by today's end four Native American bills will have passed. I hope that these are not the last. While we can't undo the damage that the Federal Government inflicted on black farmers and Native Americans, today we will help compensate them for their losses and ensure that this never happens again. I urge my colleagues to continue supporting Native Americans.


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