The Obama administration approved a $3.4 billion settlement to Native Americans for the federal government’s mismanagement of money intended for American Indian landowners, the Interior Departmentannounced Monday. The settlement stems from a class-action lawsuit filed during the Clinton administration that accused the federal government of failing to properly manage billions of dollars in royalties paid by mining, oil and timber companies for leases on Indian lands dating back more than 100 years. As part of the settlement, several hundred thousand Native Americans who own, or who formerly owned, land that had been leased to such companies will collect at least $1,000 each. American Indians with larger tracts of leased land will receive significantly more, the department said. The remainder of the money will be used for a Native American college scholarship program and to buy small parcels of land owned by individuals, but which will be returned to tribes.
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