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Appeals court dismisses suit over spending of the Colville Tribe’s $193 million settlement

From staff reports
A tribal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit against the Colville Business Council over how a $193 million settlement with the federal government will be spent. Yvonne L. Swan, a member of the Confederated Colville Tribes, and a group called “Colville Members for Justice” sought to have all of the settlement distributed to tribal members through per capita payments. The tribal council instead chose to distribute half of the settlement to members. The council passed a resolution to spend the remaining money on economic development and cultural preservation programs. The plan allowed for a tribal language endowment fund, land purchases, forest restoration planning, community development and health and wellness goals, among other things. The $193 million settlement with the U.S. government resolved a lawsuit over decades of mismanagement of tribal trust funds. The Colville Tribal Court dismissed Swan’s suit in October, 2013. The recent ruling by the Court of Appeals affirms that decision. “This decision allows us to put this issue to rest and move forward with the unfettered implementation of the plan. It’s unfortunate that our tribes have been divided on this issue, but we (the council) are excited about the future,” Jim Boyd, the tribe’s chairman, said today in a statement. “Moving forward, we will continue to do what we feel is a balanced best-effort to offer success and wealth to our tribal membership and our future generations,” he said.
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