The U. S. government has settled a discrimination lawsuit filed by Native American farmers. The $680 million class action suit includes the years from 1981-1999 when hundreds of the nation’s 60,000 Native American farmers claim they were wrongly denied loans. Also included is $80 million in debt relief.
As a result the farmers said that they had to sell off portions of their land. According to the settlement the farmers are being divided into two tiers according to economic loss. The lower tier can collect up to $50,000 each and the upper tier up to $250,000 each but more evidence is required for the upper tier.
According to an article in the International Business Times, “The settlement includes $80 million for debt relief and other assistance that will empower the community of Native American farmers. This includes the creation of the Native American Farmer and Rancher Council, a new federal advisory committee that will work together with USDA officials to discuss and execute the USDA’s programs.”
This is being seen as one remedy for a history of discrimination by the USDA.