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New national commission on Indian Trust to begin

WASHINGTON (AP) – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he will convene the first meeting of the five-member National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform this week.

The commission is to meet all day Thursday and Friday. The commission will begin reviewing the Interior Department’s management and administration of nearly $4 billion the federal government holds in trust for Native Americans and native peoples. The money comes from leases, use permits, land sales and income from timber, grazing, oil and gas and other mineral resources.

The Obama administration formed the commission after the U.S. government agreed in 2009 to pay tribes $3.4 billion for mismanaging American Indian land royalties.

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