Posted at: 06/25/2013 2:20 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com
A federal judge ruled in favor of the Jicarilla Apache Nation's claims that the federal government mishandled their trust funds for nearly 40 years.
The tribe filed the suit in 2002 accusing the Bureau of Indian Affairs of failing to invest their money prudently, making unauthorized disbursements and taking too long to deposit funds into accounts. The mismanagement reportedly took place between 1974 and 1992.
The court agreed with the Jicarilla's complaints and awarded damages of $21 million.
"The Jicarilla Apache Nation is very pleased that the Court of Federal Claims has issued a decision in favor of the Jicarilla Apache Nation in its breach of trust suit against the United States," said Ty Vicenti, president of the Jicarillia Nation. "This is a major victory for the Nation, we are pleased that the Court has reaffirmed the Government's enduring trust responsibility promise when it made treaties and agreements with the Nation."