The Obama administration has agreed to pay the Navajo Nation a record $554 million to resolve claims that date back as far as 50 years. The deal stems from litigation accusing the government of mismanaging Navajo trust accounts and resources on more than 14 million acres of land held in trust for the tribe and leased for such purposes as farming, energy development, logging and mining. The Navajo agreed to dismiss its lawsuit and forego further litigation over previous U.S. management of Navajo funds and resources held in trust by the federal government.
After a long, hard-won process, I am pleased that we have finally come to a resolution on this matter to receive fair and just compensation for the Navajo Nation.
Ben Shelly, president of the Navajo Nation.
However, the deal does not preclude the tribe from pursuing future trust claims, or any separate claims over water and uranium pollution on its reservation. The deal comes over two years after the Obama administration announced similar settlements with 41 tribes for about $1 billion collectively. Since then, the government has resolved breach of trust claims by nearly 40 additional tribes for more than $1.5 billion.