From ProPublica Publications:

ProPublica's Abrahm Lustgarten reports that Native Americans on an oil-rich reservation have been cheated out of more than $1 billion by schemes to buy drilling rights for lowball prices, a flurry of recent lawsuits assert.


And, the suits claim, the federal government facilitated the alleged swindle by failing in its legal obligation to ensure the tribes got a fair deal.


Members of the Three Affiliated Tribes -- the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara -- were moved by the federal government to land that "turns out to hold a wealth of oil, because it sits on the Bakken shale, widely believed to be one of the world's largest deposits of crude.


 What's happened, according to several senior tribal members and lawsuits filed last November and early this year in federal and state courts, has been a land grab involving everyone from tribal leaders accused of enriching themselves at the expense of their people, to oil speculators, to a New York hedge fund, to the federal government's Bureau of Indian Affairs."


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