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The  Pembina Class Action Settlement Administrator began distribution of $59 million on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, of negotiated settlement proceeds to four Pembina Tribes (the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation, the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe of Montana, and the White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa Indians), and more than 30,000 individual eligible settlement class members.

This momentous and historic Pembina Settlement is the result of a lawsuit brought in 1992 by the Pembina Tribes on their behalf and on behalf of eligible Pembina individuals to redress alleged mismanagement by the United States government of two Indian Claims Commission (ICC) judgment awards to the Pembinas. 

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The ICC judgment awards were additional compensation for millions of acres of land that the Pembinas ceded to the United States in the nineteenth century, for which the United States paid pennies per acre. The United States, as trustee, was responsible for managing the ICC judgment awards as trust funds until they were distributed to the Pembina beneficiaries in the 1980s and 1990s. 

Additional information for settlement class members is available from the settlement administrator’s automated helpline at (833) 999-9915 or online at www.PembinaSettlement.com.

This lawsuit alleged that the trust funds were mismanaged and again, additional compensation for the Pembina beneficiaries was in order. The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) represented the Pembinas throughout the lawsuit and over a decade of settlement negotiations. “NARF commends the Pembinas for their perseverance and patience in this precedential case,” said NARF Staff Attorney Melody McCoy. “Many are unaware of the tremendous impact the Pembinas have had in holding the United States accountable to Indian tribes and individuals.”

More about the Pembina judgment fund case: https://narf.org/cases/pembina/

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