WASHINGTON (AP) — It's an unusual twist for Washington these days: There's money left over from a $680 million settlement the federal government awarded American Indian farmers in 2010 after decades of discrimination.
A three-year claims process is complete, and more than half the settlement money is still available. The plaintiffs want to use the unexpected $380 million windfall to form a foundation that could be the largest Indian country has ever seen.
The plaintiffs decided the best way to handle the funds was to set up a new foundation, led by Indian leaders, to help American Indian farmers and ranchers. The plaintiffs notified the federal court of their desire to form the new organization Friday. The court will then have to approve it.