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US Pays $380 Million to End Oklahoma Tribe's Suit (Oct 21, 2011)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is paying $380 million to settle a lawsuit brought by an Oklahoma tribe over mismanagement of its trust assets.

The settlement ends a 12-year dispute over the Interior Department's accounting and management of the Osage Tribe's trust assets, including valuable oil and gas property. The settlement compensates the tribe for historical losses to its trust funds, plus interest.

The Justice Department says tribal officials commemorated the settlement during a ceremony Friday at the Interior Department's Washington headquarters. The agreement was executed Oct. 14.

The Interior Department's deputy secretary, David Hayes, says the settlement demonstrates President Barack Obama's commitment to empower American Indian nations.

Hayes says it marks a new beginning for the country of just reconciliation, better communication and improved management of tribal trust assets.

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