Check-cashing options for settlement checks
WIND RIVER RESERVATION, Wyo.—Several Fremont County banks have agreed to cash or accept for deposit payments to Northern Arapaho members resulting from a recent federal legal settlement, tribal officials said.
The Northern Arapaho Business Council coordinated with Atlantic City Federal Credit Union, Central Bank and Trust, Wells Fargo, Bank of the West and Wyoming Community Bank to assure smooth processing of funds once they arrive the week of April 21st.
Every enrolled Northern Arapaho member is entitled to $6,300 as a result of the settlement. The funds represent compensation for minerals that were harvested from Northern Arapaho lands but for which the Tribe never received payment.
“This is not welfare, or free money,” said Ronald Oldman, Co-Chairman of the Arapaho Business Council. “This is payment to tribal members for the production of their minerals, just like any private mineral owner would expect and deserve.”
This is the last installment in a series of payments resulting from claims filed against the federal government in the 1970s for breach of the tribal trust responsibility. The payments are not associated with the “Cobell” tribal trust account mismanagement case, tribal officials said.
Federal law governs distribution of the funds. Eighty-five percent goes directly to enrolled Northern Arapaho members. The remaining 15 percent is paid to the Tribe.
Federal law (25 U.S.C. 613) protects settlement checks from liens, garnishment, attachments, seizure or offsets. Banks failing to observe the law may be subject to penalties, Northern Arapaho leaders said.
In all, the Tribe and its members will receive $157 million in this settlement. Many of those dollars will be spent at businesses in Fremont County and Wyoming.
“We expect these dollars to circulate through the Wyoming economy many times over, and provide a substantial financial boost, especially in Fremont County,” said Dean Goggles, Arapaho Business Councilman.
The Northern Arapaho Business Council encourages members who have no bank account to consider opening one and depositing the funds. Those who don’t may be subject to a check- cashing fee of up to three percent of the total amount, or $189. Some banks may also require distribution of the funds over a series of days.
|Cash Checking Guidelines.pdf||63.11 KB|