Yakama Nation Members Demand Answers From Local Government - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakama Nation Members Demand Answers From Local Government

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TOPPENISH, Wash.--Concerned Tribal Members protested in Toppenish Monday, demanding answers from their local government.

"That old saying is clear as mud that's exactly what Tribal Council is doing," said Kyle Spencer, a concerned Tribal Member. "They come up with things that 'oh well we can't talk to you right now.' Even though we have an open door policy."

A question that seems to weigh on many people's minds is what happened to the $188 million from the Salazar Settlement with the federal government? Under the Obama Administration, 41 tribes across the country received multi-million dollar payments for mismanaging tribal resources like timber and minerals.

"This money's ours, and our councilmen we put in our office, they're supposed to be for us but I guess they're not," said Peter Sohappy.

"Nobody knows the date," said Spencer. "The first date we got was December 18th, then after that it was February 17th I think, so this is you know six to 12 weeks has been 12 weeks ago and longer."

"It's not about wanting just to get out spending like crazy," said Jeanette York. "People got bills and things like that. I have taxes, property taxes, my car's going down."

Harry Smiskin, the Chairman of the Yakama Nation Council, said Tribal Members haven't received their share of the settlement because the money hasn't come in yet.

NBC Right Now asked, "Do you have any date on when you expect that to come in?"

"I'm sorry I do not because the federal government hasn't given us a date," said Smiskin.

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