Lake County Coverage

Sep 10, 2012 9:46 PM by Tara Oster - KAJ News

CSKT tribes' $10K settlement checks go out Wed.

PABLO- Over $75 million will be distributed across the Flathead Indian Reservation on September 12th as part of the $1 billion settlement paid to more than 40 tribes across the country for mismanaged assets.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are receiving $150 million, and each of more than 7,800 enrolled members of the CSKT will receive a check for $10,000.

Some tribal members had protested the amount, saying the tribes should have distributed the entire $150 million instead of reserving half for tribal government projects.

One of the protestors, Ramona Cajune, had called it a "once in a lifetime opportunity" for tribal members to make a down payment on a house.

Tribal communications director Rob McDonald had responded that the tribes wanted to balance between individual's economic needs and "long-term economic planning for the viability of the government."

The tribe will issue the checks go out starting Wednesday morning. They can be cashed at the Eagle Bank, as well as at other locations, but it's unlikely everyone will be able to get their checks cashed on Wednesday.

"We're a fairly small bank and it's a fairly large event," said Martin Olsson, Eagle Bank president. "We'll do that best we can to accommodate folks, but there is a very good chance that some of the folks who are here at 5:30 when we have to close will not be able to get their checks cashed that day."

Olsson says they're adding extra security, limiting the number of people in the lobby, and will have assistance available for the elderly to try to make everything go as smoothly as possible.

Olsson says they will also be cashing checks on Thursday and Friday. Some banks in the area will not cash the checks unless people are existing customers.

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