In one of the largest financial settlements made to American Indian tribes, the federal government said this week that it had ended dozens of lawsuits by agreeing to pay tribes more than $1 billion for the mismanagement of funds and natural resources that the government holds in trust.

The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that it had agreed to pay 41 tribes — many in the Western United States — a total of about $1.023 billion because the Interior and Treasury Departments had failed to adequately oversee concessions on Indian lands from companies that exploit a wide variety of resources, including minerals, timber, oil and gas, dating back more than 100 years in some cases.

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