Law | National

Keepseagle foundation would share $380M with Indian Country





The plaintiffs in the Keepseagle lawsuit over discrimination at the Department of Agriculture are proposing to create a foundation that would share $380 million with Indian Country.

The Obama administration settled the lawsuit for $760 million, which included $680 million in direct payments to Indian farmers and ranchers and an $80 million loan forgiveness fund. Now that all checks have been distributed, some $380 million remains.

"We believe it would be the largest philanthropic organization devoted to native Americans in the history of this country," attorney Joseph Sellers told the Associated Press.

The foundation would require approval in federal court. The Intertribal Agriculture Council, the National Congress of American Indians, the Coalition of Large Tribes, the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe support the plan.

According to a status report that was filed in federal court on Friday, nearly $300 million has been spent from the settlement so far. The bulk of the money -- nearly $227 million -- went directly to Indian farmers and ranchers who experienced discrimination at the USDA.

Get the Story:
Millions left in American Indian farmer settlement (AP 8/30)

Relevant Documents:
Keepseagle Status Report (August 30, 2013)

Related Stories:
Magazine: Farmers hope for new era with USDA settlement (8/27)
Most of Indian farmer discrimination settlement goes unspent (04/26)