Indian Issues:

GAO's Assessment of Economic Analyses of Fort Berthold and Standing Rock Reservations' Compensation Claims

T-RCED-91-30: Published: Apr 12, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 1991.

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GAO discussed the economic analyses recommending that Indian tribes at two reservations receive additional financial compensation for land taken by the federal government. GAO noted that: (1) the Joint Tribal Advisory Committee (JTAC) found that the federal government did not compensate the reservations adequately and estimated the economic losses for Fort Berthold to be in the range of $178.4 million to $411.8 million and $181.2 million to $342.9 million for Standing Rock; (2) the tribes' economic losses were overstated, because economic consultants made optimistic assumptions regarding the tribes' economic situation prior to when their land was taken; and (3) the consultants did not reduce their estimates for additional compensation by the total amount that Congress previously appropriated for the land taken. GAO also noted that: (1) three Fort Berthold tribes estimated that their land was worth $9.4 million more than the amount Congress appropriated and the Standing Rock tribe estimated that its land was worth $14.2 million more than the amount Congress appropriated; and (2) the GAO calculated dollar range for the three Fort Berthold tribes was $51.8 million to $149.2 million and $64.5 million to $170 million for the Standing Rock tribe.

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