US Owes Native Americans Millions: Supreme Court
It underpaid Navajos, other tribes for years of services
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 19, 2012 3:47 PM CDT
Updated Jun 19, 2012 4:21 PM CDT
A young Navajo performs a traditional dance performance in Gallup, New Mexico.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The US owes Native American tribes big after underpaying them for public services between 1994 and 2001, the Supreme Court has ruled. The decision could mean millions of dollars for Navajo and other tribes. Federal law says the US must reimburse Native Americans for the cost of running programs such as education, security, and environmental protection, the BBC reports. But the feds paid only 77% to 92% of those costs during the period in question.

"The government was obligated to pay the tribes' contract support costs in full," the court held, adding that the tribes aren't responsible for congressional spending ceilings that prevented full payments. The decision marks a big success for the tribes, and could have a broader impact among government contractors, suggesting that officials can't simply refuse to pay when money is short.

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Jun 21, 2012 4:45 PM CDT
They should pay them for all the land they stole from them, all the people who died on the Trail of Tears, and all the years of misery and murder the French, Spanish, Dutch and English commited against them.
Jun 20, 2012 12:27 PM CDT
dear us gov please sent my money to the chief of the mombo jumbo tribe here in fl we will put it to good use!
Jun 19, 2012 8:07 PM CDT
The so called "American Gov" has attempted to eliminate the American Indian by shipping Plains Indians to the Florida swamps, using them for medical experiments placing them on Reservations that were basically interment camps where a crop couldn't grow all in an effort to destroy the Indian People. They took their children and shipped them to White Schools and wouldn't allow them to learn even their own language all in an effort to eliminate them. Now for over a decade they short changed them on money owed them by law and pushed a group of people further into economic crisis It is about time at least a small part of what is truly owed the Indian people is re-payed now lets see how the land stolen from the Indians plays out, they were placed on a Reservation and once a mineral was discovered that had value the Indian was ordered to yet another Reservation with even less value that that which they were on, The American Gov has had but one purpose in dealing with the Indian and that is total annihilation of all tribes even before there was an American Gov. The Indians were the first to have a failed immigration policy, they failed at keeping the Anglo out of this country that is rightfully theirs but they choose to share wuth early whites