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Chippewa's $28 million settlement expected

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Federal legislation is advancing in Washington that would release $28 million to six northern Minnesota Chippewa bands to settle land transactions dating to the 1800s.

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The settlement is for unscrupulous deals that drastically reduced the land controlled by the Chippewa by 1900. Five of the bands have reached a deal on how to divide the money originally awarded in 1999. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has withheld the money pending a unanimous agreement on its distribution by all six bands, which include the Fond du Lac, Bois Forte, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs and White Earth.

Sen. Al Franken and Reps. Chip Cravaack and Collin Peterson have pushed legislation to release the funds. The Duluth News Tribune (http://bit.ly/wZDtsk ) says the bill will be before a Senate subcommittee March 1.

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Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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