In a report to Congress, the Interior Department said there is no need for a detailed accounting of federal money paid to American Indians since 1887.

In 1996, a group of American Indians filed a class-action lawsuit arguing that they were cheated out of more than $100 billion due to mismanagement of oil, gas, grazing, timber and other royalties from their lands. A federal judge then ordered the Interior to account for every dollar received and paid to American Indians since t he Dawes Severalty Act of 1887. The act sought to protect tribal holdings by dividing the land into individual homestead and contained provisions meant to prevent Native Americans from being cheated.

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