Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

June 6, 2012

Colville rally over US $193 million settlement

Colville members rally to discuss the $193 million settlement

By Yvonne Swan
Connie McCraigie, Omak, Wash.

Posted at Censored News
NESPELEM, Wash. -- Colville tribal members will rally at an outdoor encampment on the baseball field at the Colville Indian agency campus at Nespelem, Washington to share valid concerns and strong opinions regarding the recent $193 Million settlement between the United States government and the Colville Business Council over federal mismanagement of land and resources on the Colville Reservation. Discussion will begin at noon Saturday, June 9th in preparation for a future meeting with the Colville Business Council (Council). This rally will continue throughout the day and into Sunday, June 10th.

Tribal elders from across the Reservation and outlying areas mandated this gathering out of concern that members are being disrespected and misrepresented by elected tribal leaders. Members were put at a disadvantage because vital information was given out at hastily-called district meetings following the February announcement of the historic settlement agreement.

Rumors and piece-meal information is not acceptable regarding this and other important matters pertaining to the Colville tribal membership.

The 14-member Council elect was well within its duties and obligations when it filed a claim on behalf of the 9,000-plus tribal members against the United States for violation of federal trust responsibility in 2005, and for seeing it through to final settlement; however, the Council should have stopped there and allowed for en masse consultation with the people as to what was to be done with the monetary settlement rather than go to the press and announce it was giving the membership 20% of the claim.

Members are encouraged to bring camping equipment and extra chairs, and food to share with those who are experiencing financial hardship.

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