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Opioid settlement "historic for tribes," says Eastern Shoshone chairman

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from data collected form 2000 to 2016, Indigenous individuals are above the national average in opioid related death. According to the same data, 130 Americans dies everyday from opioid overdose.
Marco Vench

This week, a nearly $600 million settlement was reached between Indigenous nations and four drug distribution companies.

The settlement came down out of the U.S. District Court in Cleveland where many of the county's opioid cases are held. The $590 million will be split between 574 federally recognized tribes for social programs related to opioid addiction.

Eastern Shoshone Tribe Chairman John St. Clair said in a press statement, “These funds will allow our tribe to combat the damages that opioids have caused within our communities and help us to protect the health and welfare of our people.”

Funds from the lawsuit will be paid out over several years. The drug companies involved are Johnson and Johnson, McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health Inc, and AmerisourceBergen Corporation.

The settlement will officially move forward when 95 percent of tribes on the lawsuit agree to the conditions.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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