November 22nd, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

UPDATE - The Longest Odds: Senate Approves $3.4 Billion Settlement for Native Americans

There's an update to our cover story this week about Native American casinos and poverty in Oregon. And it's a bit of news for which American Indians can be thankful.

The U.S. Senate on Friday unanimously approved a $3.4 billion settlement in a lawsuit claiming the federal government mismanaged individual trust accounts involving oil, gas and other royalties from tribal lands.

In the same bill, senators approved $1.2 billion for tens of thousands of African-American farmers who alleged discrimination in government loan programs. The bill now goes to the House for approval.

Our cover story explained how 15 years of investment in tribal programs using hundreds of millions in casino dollars has yet to lift many of Oregon's Native Americans out of poverty.

It's unclear to what extent Friday's Senate vote may benefit Oregon tribes specifically. A spokeswoman for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, who run the most lucrative casino in the state, has not yet responded to a request for comment.
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