Ceremonial Signing Ends Native American Lawsuit
DURANT, Okla. (AP) - U.S. Secretary of the Department of the Interior Sally Jewell is planning to visit with leaders of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations in Oklahoma to participate in a ceremonial signing of an agreement over tribal lands.
Jewell will visit Durant on Tuesday to recognize the settlement of a nine-year lawsuit alleging the federal government mismanaged 1.3 million acres of timberlands in southeastern and south-central Oklahoma.
The two Oklahoma-based Indian tribes were seeking a detailed accounting of the sale of the lands by the Department of the Interior.
The case had been scheduled to go to trial in July, but all sides entered into a settlement agreement approved by a federal judge last month in which the tribal nations agreed to receive a cash payment of $186 million.
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