Text: H.R.1272 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 112-179 (10/05/2012)
[112th Congress Public Law 179]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[[Page 126 STAT. 1411]]
Public Law 112-179
To provide for the use and distribution of the funds awarded to the
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, et al., by the United States Court of Federal
Claims in Docket Numbers 19 and 188, and for other
purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 5, 2012 - [H.R. 1272]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Minnesota
Chippewa Tribe Judgment Fund Distribution Act of 2012.>>
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Judgment
Fund Distribution Act of 2012''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) On January 22, 1948, the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe,
representing all Chippewa bands in Minnesota except the Red Lake
Band, filed a claim before the Indian Claims Commission in
Docket No. 19 for an accounting of all funds received and
expended pursuant to the Act of January 14, 1889, 25 Stat. 642,
and amendatory acts (hereinafter referred to as the Nelson Act).
(2) On August 2, 1951, the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe,
representing all Chippewa bands in Minnesota except the Red Lake
Band, filed a number of claims before the Indian Claims
Commission in Docket No. 188 for an accounting of the
Government's obligation to each of the member bands of the
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe under various statutes and treaties
that are not covered by the Nelson Act of January 14, 1889.
(3) On May 17, 1999, a Joint Motion for Findings in Aid of
Settlement of the claims in Docket No. 19 and 188 was filed
before the Court.
(4) The terms of the settlement were approved by the Court
and the final judgment was entered on May 26, 1999.
(5) On June 22, 1999, $20,000,000 was transferred to the
Department of the Interior and deposited into a trust fund
account established for the beneficiaries of the funds awarded
in Docket No. 19 and 188.
(6) Pursuant to the Indian Tribal Judgment Funds Use or
Distribution Act (25 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.), Congress must act to
authorize the use or distribution of the judgment funds.
(7) On October 1, 2009, the Minnesota Chippewa Tribal
Executive Committee passed Resolution 146-09, approving a plan
to distribute the judgment funds and requesting that the United
States Congress act to distribute the judgment funds in the
manner described by the plan.
[[Page 126 STAT. 1412]]
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
For the purpose of this Act:
(1) Available funds.--The term ``available funds'' means the
funds awarded to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and interest
earned and received on those funds, less the funds used for
payments authorized under section 4.
(2) Bands.--The term ``Bands'' means the Bois Forte Band,
Fond du Lac Band, Grand Portage Band, Leech Lake Band, Mille
Lacs Band, and White Earth Band.
(3) Judgment funds.--The term ``judgment funds'' means the
funds awarded on May 26, 1999, to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
by the Court of Federal Claims in Docket No. 19 and 188.
(4) Minnesota chippewa tribe.--The term ``Minnesota Chippewa
Tribe'' means the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota, composed
of the Bois Forte Band, Fond du Lac Band, Grand Portage Band,
Leech Lake Band, Mille Lacs Band, and White Earth Band. It does
not include Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota.
(5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary
of the Interior.
SEC. 4. LOAN REIMBURSEMENTS TO MINNESOTA CHIPPEWA TRIBE.
(a) In General.--The Secretary is authorized to reimburse the
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe the amount of funds, plus interest earned to
the date of reimbursement, that the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe contributed
for payment of attorneys' fees and litigation expenses associated with
the litigation of Docket No. 19 and 188 before the U.S. Court of Federal
Claims and the distribution of judgment funds.
(b) Claims.--The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe's claim for reimbursement
of funds expended shall be--
(1) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> presented to the Secretary not later
than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act;
(2) <<NOTE: Certification.>> certified by the Minnesota
Chippewa Tribe as being unreimbursed to the Minnesota Chippewa
Tribe from other funding sources;
(3) paid with interest calculated at the rate of 6.0 percent
per annum, simple interest, from the date the funds were
expended to the date the funds are reimbursed to the Minnesota
Chippewa Tribe; and
(4) paid from the judgment funds prior to the division of
the funds under section 5.
SEC. 5. DIVISION OF JUDGMENT FUNDS.
(a) Membership Rolls.--Not <<NOTE: Deadline.>> later than 90 days
after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Minnesota Chippewa
Tribe shall submit to the Secretary updated membership rolls for each
Band, which shall include all enrolled members the date of the enactment
of this Act.
(b) Divisions.--After all funds have been reimbursed under section
4, and the membership rolls have been updated under subsection (a), the
(1) set aside for each Band a portion of the available
judgment funds equivalent to $300 for each member enrolled
within each Band; and
[[Page 126 STAT. 1413]]
(2) after the funds are set aside in accordance with
paragraph (1), divide 100 percent of the remaining funds into
equal shares for each Band.
(c) Separate Accounts.--The Secretary shall--
(1) deposit all funds described in subsection (b)(1) into a
``Per Capita'' account for each Band; and
(2) deposit all funds described in subsection (b)(2) into an
``Equal Shares'' account for each Band.
(d) Withdrawal of Funds.--After the Secretary deposits the available
funds into the accounts described in subsection (c), a Band may withdraw
all or part of the monies in its account.
(e) Disbursement of Per Capita Payments.--All funds described in
subsection (b)(1) shall be used by each Band only for the purposes of
distributing one $300 payment to each individual member of the Band.
Each Band may--
(1) distribute the $300 payment to the parents or legal
guardians on behalf of each dependent Band member instead of
distributing such $300 payment to the dependent Band member; or
(2) deposit into a trust account the $300 payment to each
dependent Band member for the benefit of such dependent Band
member, to be distributed under the terms of such trust.
(f) Distribution of Unclaimed Payments.--
One <<NOTE: Deadline.>> year after the funds described in subsection
(b)(1) are made available to the Bands, all unclaimed payments described
in subsection (e) shall be returned to the Secretary, who shall divide
these funds into equal shares for each Band, and deposit the divided
shares into the accounts described in subsection (c)(2) for the use of
(g) Liability.--If a Band exercises the right to withdraw monies
from its accounts, the Secretary shall not retain liability for the
expenditure or investment of the monies after each withdrawal.
SEC. 6. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
(a) Previous Obligations.--Funds disbursed under this Act shall not
be liable for the payment of previously contracted obligations of any
recipient as provided in Public Law 98-64 (25 U.S.C. 117b(a)).
[[Page 126 STAT. 1414]]
(b) Indian Judgment Funds Distribution Act.--All funds distributed
under this Act are subject to the provisions in the Indian Judgment
Funds Distribution Act (25 U.S.C. 1407).
Approved October 5, 2012.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 1272:
HOUSE REPORTS: No. 112-501 (Comm. on Natural Resources).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 158 (2012):
June 18, considered and passed House.
Sept. 21, considered and passed Senate.