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BIA reopens Western Shoshone distribution process

The Bureau of Indian Affairs published a notice in the Federal Register today to reopen the enrollment process for Western Shoshone tribal members who may be entitled to share in a $140 million trust fund.

The BIA says it will post notices in public areas, notify tribal newspapers and other media and hold several community meetings in an attempt to inform Western Shoshones of their potential rights to the judgment fund. People must be of at least 1/4 Western Shoshone blood to share in the money.

The notice says there is no firm deadline to close the enrollment period. But it establishes a process by which applications will be accepted before the final deadline is set.

The money stems from a judgment award for 26 million acres of land the Western Shoshone tribes lost, according to the Indian Claims Commission. An estimated 6,000 people will receive about $20,000 each.

Some Western Shoshone leaders and activists oppose distribution of the fund, saying their land was never legally taken from them.

Get the Notice:
Preparation of Rolls of Indians (Federal Register May 19, 2005)

Relevant Links:
Western Shoshone Defense Project -

Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Act:
Bill Report | H.R.884 | S.618

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