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Deadline for 2nd installment of Cobell Indian settlement passes

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News Mitchell, 57301
The Daily Republic
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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Friday was the deadline for American Indians to apply for their share of the second installment of the Cobell settlement with the federal government, a $3.4 billion redress of faulty U.S. handling of Indian lands and money over many years.

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The first payments of $1,000 each went to members of a "historical class," Indians who owned land that was mismanaged or their descendants.

"Most people I have spoken with who were eligible for the (first disbursement) did receive payment," said Delvin Cree of Dunseith, N.D., a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

"Many are eagerly awaiting the second round. ... From what I hear, a lot of claims were filed."

Those who received the initial payment included Cree, his parents (his father is enrolled with the Turtle Mountain tribe, his mother with the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe) and his cousin Jessie Cree of rural Dunseith, N.D.

Jessie Cree and his two sons expect to receive payments in the second round.

Most of Jessie Cree's first check went to groceries and wood for his heating stove, Delvin Cree said. "He was wishing his monies would have come during the holiday season," he said.

When the U.S. government carved up most reservations and parceled the land out to individual Indians more than a century ago, federal officials continued to manage the land on behalf of the Indians.

The government also managed income from those lands, such as timber sales, mining and agricultural lease payments.

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