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Sep 1, 2011 4:14 PM by Matt Stafford

Appeals planned in $3.4B Indian trust settlement

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A 15-year-old lawsuit over the U.S. government's mismanagement of Native American land royalties may not be over yet, despite a $3.4 billion settlement that's been approved by Congress and a federal judge.

A Colorado woman and a group of Native American objectors to the settlement have filed separate notices of appeal.

The settlement would resolve claims that U.S. officials stole or squandered billions in land royalties meant for American Indians in exchange for oil, gas, grazing and other leases. The plaintiffs could number 500,000 or more.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs are asking a judge to order anybody seeking an appeal to first put up an $8.3 million bond. They say an appeal would delay the disbursement of the money and required reforms by a year or more.

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