Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Keepseagle deadline approaching


WASHINGTON – In 1999, Marilyn Keepseagle and others filed a class action lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) claiming the USDA discriminated against Native Americans by denying them equal access to credit in the USDA Farm Loan Program. In 2010, the parties reached a $760 million settlement and distribution of funds to individual claimants took place. After all successful claimants were paid, approximately $380 million remained. Earlier this year, the parties reached an agreement on what to do with the remaining funds.

The revised agreement establishes a cy pres fund of $303 million to endow grants for nonprofit, educational and tribal-sponsored organizations that serve Native ranchers and farmers. An initial distribution of $38 million of the cy pres funds, known as the Native American Agriculture Fast Track Fund (NAAFTF), is subject to distribution before the end of the year as grants to nonprofit, educational, and tribal-sponsored organizations that provided services to Native American farmers and ranchers prior to November 1, 2010. The remaining cy pres funds of approximately $265 million will be placed in a trust that will disburse the funds over a 20 year period to nonprofit, educational and tribal-sponsored organizations, including those created after November 1, 2010, that have or will provide services to Native American farmers and ranchers.


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