US government will pay the Navajo Nation $554 million

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Obama administration will pay the Navajo Nation $554 million in the largest settlement with a single American Indian tribe.

The largest and most populous Indian Navajo reservation with 14 million acres of trust lands, which are leased for farming, grazing, and oil, gas and other mineral extraction, is located in parts of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Both parts, the government and the Navajo Nation, agreed that this is an historical moment and a real achievement of the President Obama who “from his first days in office (…) has worked to honor the government-to-government relationships between the United States and tribal governments,” as appreciated Sam Hirsch, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, a key member of the department’s Indian country team. As thesame time, members of the Navajo Nation Council, the legislative branch of the Navajo Nation, said that the agreement doesn’t affect the tribe’s existing or potential claims regarding water and uranium pollution and only addresses historical trust claims.

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