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Money Heads To The Wind River Indian Reservation


Long-awaited money from a settlement on the Wind River Indian Reservation is finally on its way. The 157 million dollar settlement between the tribes and the federal government is for underpayment of royalties on oil and gas development…and improper management of royalties that were paid.

Northern Arapaho spokesman Mark Howell says some people don’t have bank accounts…and there were concerns they would not be able to cash their checks.

"That the banks would not have the supply of cash on hand necessary to cash the checks. The Business Council worked with the various banks in the area to ensure that they had sufficient cash on hand."

The settlement is split evenly down the middle between the tribes…but individual

Eastern Shoshone tribal members will receive more money than Northern Arapaho members because there are less of them. Howell says the influx of money will be good for everyone.

"We expect those dollars will turn over several times and there will be, as economists like to say, a multiplier effect and it should boost both the tribal economy as well as the broader Fremont County economy."

Some of the money will also go to tribal government…and 10 million dollars will be set aside to address environmental degradation caused by oil and gas development.

Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications.
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