Frustration grows over $3.4B settlement delay


HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Native Americans due shares of a $3.4 billion government settlement are growing frustrated over distribution delays.

Laura Juarez of Bakersfield, California, says she had to cancel her daughter's trip to Australia on a student-ambassador program because the $1,200 she expected to arrive in December still hasn't come.

The payments have been held up by more than 2,400 appeals by people who were ruled ineligible to participate in the settlement.

Plaintiffs' attorneys plan to ask a federal judge this week to allow the distribution to take place before the appeals are finalized.

More than 493,000 people have been identified as beneficiaries in the settlement. The class-action lawsuit claimed the government mismanaged billions of dollars held in trust for Indian landowners for more than a century.

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