The Interior Department
supports a coal swap for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe
of Montana but the deal might be biased towards a non-Indian company,
a top official said at a hearing before the House
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs
the Montana Mineral Conveyance Act, transfers the subsurface rights to about 5,000 acres on the reservation to the tribe.
The subsurface rights to another 5,000 acres off the reservation would go to Great Northern Properties, a Texas company.
While each side gets about the same acreage in subsurface rights,
Jodi Gillette, the deputy assistant secretary for Indian Affairs at DOI, said the off-reservation property contains nearly twice as much coal as the on-reservation property.
Additionally, while the tribe agreed to waive all of its claims against the federal government, Great Northern isn't required to do the same.
The tribe and Great Northern testified in favor of the bill at the hearing.
Get the Story:
Land Swap a Boost for Northern Cheyenne Tribe
Interior official says tribal coal swap not equal
on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Legislative Hearing on H.R. 1158 and H.R.
(June 22, 2011)
Related Stories:Witness List: House hearing on Northern
Cheyenne, Tigua bills
(6/22) Subcommittee sets
hearing on Northern Cheyenne, Tigua bills
Northern Cheyenne Tribe looks to benefit from coal swap bill
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