From 1946 to 1966, the government constructed five dams as flood control projects on the Missouri River in North Dakota and South Dakota. The reservoirs created behind the dams flooded portions of seven Indian reservations--Fort Berthold, Cheyenne River, Standing Rock, Lower Brule, Crow Creek, Yankton, and Santee. The tribes at these seven reservations received compensation when the dams were built as well as additional compensation over the years that followed. Since 1991, GAO has issued three reports on additional compensation claims for tribes at five reservations: (1) 1991--Fort Berthold and Standing Rock (GAO/RCED-91-77); (2) 1998--Cheyenne River (GAO/RCED-98-39); and (3) 2006--Crow Creek and Lower Brule (GAO-06-517). In these reports, GAO proposed that one recommended approach to providing additional compensation would be to calculate the difference between the tribe's final asking price and the amount that was appropriated by Congress and then adjust the difference using the inflation rate and an interest rate to reflect a range of current values. This testimony is based on GAO's three prior reports, and summarizes the damages estimated by the Department of the Interior and the compensation authorized by Congress, for dams constructed on the Missouri River.
Skip to Highlights