SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Spokane Tribe of Indians will finally be compensated after some of their ancestral homelands were flooded by the giant Grand Coulee Dam seven decades ago,
The U.S. House on Monday approved and sent to President Donald Trump a bill that sets up yearly payments to the tribe based on a similar system for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, who also lost land when the dam and its reservoir were created. The bill had been introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.
The Spokesman-Review reported the Spokane Tribe will receive $6 million a year for 10 years, and $8 million a year after that. The money will come from revenues of the Bonneville Power Administration, which sells electricity generated by Grand Coulee and other federal dams in the Northwest.
Trump is expected to sign the bill, the newspaper reported.
Washington lawmakers tried for more than a decade to win compensation for the Spokane Tribe. This year it passed the Senate in June and the House on Monday evening.
The Spokanes and Colvilles both had reservation land flooded by the reservoir behind Grand Coulee.
The Colvilles in 1994 got Congress to approve a lump sum payment of $53 million and annual payments of $15.2 million from BPA revenues.