QUAPAW, Okla. — Quapaw Nation leaders are meeting with congressional leaders next week in an effort to have a multi-million dollar settlement over land issues resolved.

Quapaw Nation leaders are seeking $137.5 million in settlement proceeds from the Thomas Charles Bear lawsuit.

The federal lawsuit is one of two lawsuits filed on June 12, 2012, centering on unfulfilled treaty promises, mineral theft and destruction of land and resources.

Those two lawsuits, referred to as Bear and Goodeagle, were settled in 2019.  Settlement proceeds of $59 million dollars from the Goodeagle lawsuit were paid to the tribe in 2020.

The federal government has never paid the $137.5 million dollars owed to the Quapaws from the Bear lawsuit settlement.

The trip to Washington D.C. marks an important step in the ongoing effort to get Bear appropriated and in the hands of Quapaw Nation members, according to a statement released by the tribe.

Although the damages inflicted upon the land may never be undone, citizens of the Quapaw Nation may find solace in knowing their leadership is fighting for them, the statement reads.