Media Contact: Lovett 343-7445
For Immediate Release: August 8, 1978

An Indian Claims Commission award of almost $44 million for Sioux lands ceded the Indians in 1868 "is not a settlement of the much publicized Black Hills Claim;" a Bureau of Indian Affairs spokesman said today.

The Black Hills Claim, not yet settled, is for land west of the Missouri River in South Dakota ceded by various Sioux groups in 1876.

The $44 million award, largest yet made oy the Commission, is compensation for lands in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and an area east of the Missouri River in South Dakota.

If the award, granted July 19, is not appealed, the Bureau of Indian Affairs will proceed to determine which modern Sioux tribes and groups are the proper beneficiaries of the award.

The award is for lands held by the Teton (Lakota or Western) Sioux West of the Missouri River (excluding that in South Dakota) and lands east of the river held by the Teton Sioux and the Yanktonai Sioux. The Yankton Sioux (a group distinct from the Yanktonai) had an interest, together with the Teton group, in the western lands. The Yankton interest, however, is not included in this award. It will be considered by the Commission in another docket.

Under the provisions of the Indian Judgment Funds Act of 1973, the Secretary of the Interior will submit his recommendations to Congress, in the form of a proposed plan or proposed legislation. These recommendations will include the identity of the beneficiary tribes or groups, the division of the funds and the plan for distribution and use of the funds.