The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources has approved a subcommittee hearing to assess the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Judgment Fund Distribution Act of 2011, according to Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn.
In a news release, the hearing will be in late February or March in the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. In order for legislation to move forward in the Natural Resources Committee mark-up process, a subcommittee hearing is first required.
According to Cravaack, the legislation would release reimbursement funds from the Interior Department that are owed to the Boise Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and White Earth bands of Chippewa in Minnesota for federal misfeasance in implementing the Nelson Act of 1889.
Rep. Colin Peterson, D-Minn., and Cravaack introduced the legislation, which enacts a 2009 Minnesota Chippewa Tribal resolution to reimburse about $28 million to the Minnesota Chippewa. The bill reflects the wishes of the 2009 Minnesota Chippewa Tribal resolution and distributes the funds in a per-capita apportionment of $300 per member enrolled in each band, followed by an equal six-way split of the remaining settlement funds to the six recipient bands.