Navajos in Utah reach settlement for trust fund case

Members of the Navajo Nation who live in Utah reached a $33 million settlement with the state over the management of the Utah Navajo Trust Fund.

The deal provides $1 million to the trust on July 15, 2010; $5 million in 2011; $13.5 million in 2012, and $13.5 million in 2013. An estimated $4 million to $5 million. would go to the attorneys who filed the case in 1992.

"There was a lot of anger and frustration and we stood our ground," plaintiff Susie Johnson-Philemon told The Salt Lake Tribune.

In 1933, Congress created a trust for members of the Navajo Nation who live in San Juan County, Utah. The law requires the state to manage 37.5 percent of the royalties from oil and gas production on Navajo land.

S.1690, which was introduced on September 21, relieves the state of its role.The Utah Dineh Corporation would handle duties as trustee of the fund.

Navajos in Utah largely support the bill. But the Navajo government in Window Rock, Arizona, opposes it and wants to manage the trust.

Get the Story:
Navajo settlement brings welcome end for many to bitter dispute (The Salt Lake Tribune 1/6)
State, Navajos settle oil royalty dispute (The Salt Lake Tribune 1/6)

Committee Hearing:
LEGISLATIVE HEARING on S. 1690, to amend the Act of March 1, 1933, to transfer certain authority and resources to the Utah Dineh Corporation, and for other purposes (December 9, 2009)

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Editorial: Utah should pull out of Navajo trust (11/16)
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