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Editor's Note

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The tribes believe the payments did not cover what they lost. The 1971 court ruling only calculated the land’s market value, not the other economic and cultural losses the tribes sustained when the federal government divided up their reservation, and sold off more than 400,000 acres to non-Indians. On the question of dollars alone, a Harvard economist’s 1974 research determined that the Salish and Kootenai per capita income would have been more than 60 percent higher if the reservation had not been fragmented by allotment. That researcher, Ronald Trosper, is a Salish and Kootenai tribal member who is now director of the Native American Forestry Program at Northern Arizona University.

Ray Ring
HCN editor in the field

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