25 U.S. Code § 941i - Tribal trust funds

(a) Purposes of trust funds
All funds paid pursuant to section 941c of this title, except for payments made pursuant to section 941d (g) of this title, shall be deposited with the Secretary in trust for the benefit of the Tribe. Separate trust funds shall be established for the following purposes: economic development, land acquisition, education, social services and elderly assistance, and per capita payments. Except as provided in this section, the Tribe, in consultation with the Secretary, shall determine the share of settlement payments to be deposited in each Trust Fund, and define, consistently with the provisions of this section, the purposes of each Trust Fund and provisions for administering each, specifically including provisions for periodic distribution of current and accumulated income, and for invasion and restoration of principal.
(b) Outside management option
(1) The Tribe, in consultation with and subject to the approval of the Secretary, as set forth in this section, is authorized to place any of the Trust Funds under professional management, outside the Department of the Interior.
(2) If the Tribe elects to place any of the Trust Funds under professional management outside the Department of the Interior, it may engage a consulting or advisory firm to assist in the selection of an independent professional investment management firm, and it shall engage, with the approval of the Secretary, an independent investment management firm of proven competence and experience established in the business of counseling large endowments, trusts, or pension funds.
(3) The Secretary shall have 45 days to approve or reject any independent investment management firm selected by the Tribe. If the Secretary fails to approve or reject the firm selected by the Tribe within 45 days, the investment management firm selected by the Tribe shall be deemed to have been approved by the Secretary.
(4) Secretarial approval of an investment management firm shall not be unreasonably withheld, and any Secretarial disapproval of an investment management firm shall be accompanied by a detailed explanation setting forth the Secretary’s reasons for such disapproval.
(5)
(A) For funds placed under professional management, the Tribe, in consultation with the Secretary and its investment manager, shall develop—
(i) current operating and long-term capital budgets; and
(ii) a plan for managing, investing, and distributing income and principal from the Trust Funds to match the requirements of the Tribe’s operating and capital budgets.
(B) For each Trust Fund which the Tribe elects to place under outside professional management, the investment plan shall provide for investment of Trust Fund assets so as to serve the purposes described in this section and in the Trust Fund provisions which the Tribe shall establish in consultation with the Secretary and the independent investment management firm.
(C) Distributions from each Trust Fund shall not exceed the limits on the use of principal and income imposed by the applicable provisions of this subchapter for that particular Trust Fund.
(D)
(i) The Tribe’s investment management plan shall not become effective until approved by the Secretary.
(ii) Upon submission of the plan by the Tribe to the Secretary for approval, the Secretary shall have 45 days to approve or reject the plan. If the Secretary fails to approve or disapprove the plan within 45 days, the plan shall be deemed to have been approved by the Secretary and shall become effective immediately.
(iii) Secretarial approval of the plan shall not be unreasonably withheld and any secretarial rejection of the plan shall be accompanied by a detailed explanation setting forth the Secretary’s reasons for rejecting the plan.
(E) Until the selection of an established investment management firm of proven competence and experience, the Tribe shall rely on the management, investment, and administration of the Trust Funds by the Secretary pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(c) Transfer of trust funds; exculpation of Secretary
Upon the Secretary’s approval of the Tribe’s investment management firm and an investment management plan, all funds previously deposited in trust funds held by the Secretary and all funds subsequently paid into the trust funds, which are chosen for outside management, shall be transferred to the accounts established by an investment management firm in accordance with the approved investment management plan. The Secretary shall be exculpated by the Tribe from liability for any loss of principal or interest resulting from investment decisions made by the investment management firm. Any Trust Fund transferred to an investment management firm shall be returned to the Secretary upon written request of the Tribe, and the Secretary shall manage such funds for the benefit of the Tribe.
(d) Land Acquisition Trust
(1) The Secretary shall establish and maintain a Catawba Land Acquisition Trust Fund, and until the Tribe engages an outside firm for investment management of this trust fund, the Secretary shall manage, invest, and administer this trust fund. The original principal amount of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall be determined by the Tribe in consultation with the Secretary.
(2) The principal and income of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund may be used for the purchase and development of Reservation and non-Reservation land pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, costs related to land acquisition, and costs of construction of infrastructure and development of the Reservation and non-Reservation land.
(3)
(A) Upon acquisition of the maximum amount of land allowed for expansion of the Reservation, or upon request of the Tribe and approval of the Secretary pursuant to the Secretarial approval provisions set forth in subsection (b)(5)(D) of this section, all or part of the balance of this trust fund may be merged into one or more of the Economic Development Trust Fund, the Education Trust Fund, or the Social Services and Elderly Assistance Trust Fund.
(B) Alternatively, at the Tribe’s election, the Land Acquisition Trust Fund may remain in existence after all the Reservation land is purchased in order to pay for the purchase of non-Reservation land.
(4)
(A) The Tribe may pledge or hypothecate the income and principal of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to secure loans for the purchase of Reservation and non-Reservation lands.
(B) Following the effective date of this subchapter and before the final annual disbursement is made as provided in section 941c of this title, the Tribe may pledge or hypothecate up to 50 percent of the unpaid annual installments required to be paid to this Trust Fund, the Economic Development Trust Fund and the Social Services and Elderly Assistance Trust Fund by section 941c of this title and by section 5 of the Settlement Agreement, to secure loans to finance the acquisition of Reservation or non-Reservation land or infrastructure improvements on such lands.
(e) Economic Development Trust
(1) The Secretary shall establish and maintain a Catawba Economic Development Trust Fund, and until the Tribe engages an outside firm for investment management of this Trust Fund, the Secretary shall manage, invest, and administer this Trust Fund. The original principal amount of the Economic Development Trust Fund shall be determined by the Tribe in consultation with the Secretary. The principal and income of this Trust Fund may be used to support tribal economic development activities, including but not limited to infrastructure improvements and tribal business ventures and commercial investments benefiting the Tribe.
(2) The Tribe, in consultation with the Secretary, may pledge or hypothecate future income and up to 50 percent of the principal of this Trust Fund to secure loans for economic development. In defining the provisions for administration of this Trust Fund, and before pledging or hypothecating future income or principal, the Tribe and the Secretary shall agree on rules and standards for the invasion of principal and for repayment or restoration of principal, which shall encourage preservation of principal, and provide that, if feasible, a portion of all profits derived from activities funded by principal be applied to repayment of the Trust Fund.
(3) Following the effective date of this subchapter and before the final annual disbursement is made as provided in section 941c of this title, the Tribe may pledge or hypothecate up to 50 percent of the unpaid annual installments required to be paid by section 941c of this title and by section 5 of the Settlement Agreement to secure loans to finance economic development activities of the Tribe, including (but not limited to) infrastructure improvements on Reservation and non-Reservation lands.
(4) If the Tribe develops sound lending guidelines approved by the Secretary, a portion of the income from this Trust Fund may also be used to fund a revolving credit account for loans to support tribal businesses or business enterprises of tribal members.
(f) Education Trust
The Secretary shall establish and maintain a Catawba Education Trust Fund, and until the Tribe engages an outside firm for investment management of this Trust Fund, the Secretary shall manage, invest, and administer this Trust Fund. The original principal amount of this Trust Fund shall be determined by the Tribe in consultation with the Secretary; subject to the requirement that upon completion of all payments into the Trust Funds, an amount equal to at least 1/3 of all State, local, and private contributions made pursuant to the Settlement Agreement shall have been paid into the Education Trust Fund. Income from this Trust Fund shall be distributed in a manner consistent with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The principal of this Trust Fund shall not be invaded or transferred to any other Trust Fund, nor shall it be pledged or encumbered as security.
(g) Social Services and Elderly Assistance Trust
(1) The Secretary shall establish and maintain a Catawba Social Services and Elderly Assistance Trust Fund and, until the Tribe engages an outside firm for investment management of this Trust Fund, the Secretary shall manage, invest, and administer the Social Services and Elderly Assistance Trust Fund. The original principal amount of this Trust Fund shall be determined by the Tribe in consultation with the Secretary.
(2) The income of this Trust Fund shall be periodically distributed to the Tribe to support social services programs, including (but not limited to) housing, care of elderly, or physically or mentally disabled Members, child care, supplemental health care, education, cultural preservation, burial and cemetery maintenance, and operation of tribal government.
(3) The Tribe, in consultation with the Secretary, shall establish eligibility criteria and procedures to carry out this subsection.
(h) Per Capita Payment Trust Fund
(1) The Secretary shall establish and maintain a Catawba Per Capita Payment Trust Fund in an amount equal to 15 percent of the settlement funds paid pursuant to section 5 of the Settlement Agreement. Until the Tribe engages an outside firm for investment management of this Trust Fund, the Secretary shall manage, invest, and administer the Catawba Per Capita Payment Trust Fund.
(2) Each person (or their estate) whose name appears on the final base membership roll of the Tribe published by the Secretary pursuant to section 941e (c) of this title will receive a one-time, non-recurring payment from this Trust Fund.
(3) The amount payable to each member  [1] shall be determined by dividing the trust principal and any accrued interest thereon by the number of Members on the final base membership roll.
(4)
(A) Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, each enrolled member  [1] who has reached the age of 21 years on the date the final roll is published shall receive the payment on the date of distribution, which shall be as soon as practicable after date of publication of the final base membership roll. Adult Members shall be paid their pro rata share of this Trust Fund on the date of distribution unless they elect in writing to leave their pro rata share in the Trust Fund, in which case such share shall not be distributed.
(B) The pro rata share of adult Members who elect not to withdraw their payment from this Trust Fund shall be managed, invested and administered, together with the funds of Members who have not attained the age of 21 years on the date the final base membership roll is published, until such Member requests in writing that their pro rata share be distributed, at which time such Member’s pro rata share shall be paid, together with the net income of the Trust Fund allocable to such Member’s share as of the date of distribution.
(C) No member  [1] may elect to have their pro rata share managed by this Trust Fund for a period of more than 21 years after the date of publication of the final base membership roll.
(5)
(A) Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, the pro rata share of any Member who has not attained the age of 21 years on the date the final base membership roll is published shall be managed, invested and administered pursuant to the provisions of this section until such Member has attained the age of 21 years, at which time such Member’s pro rata share shall be paid, together with the net income of the Trust Fund allocable to such Member’s share as of the date of payment. Such Members shall be paid their pro rata share of this Trust Fund on the date they attain 21 years of age unless they elect in writing to leave their pro rata share in the Trust Fund, in which case such share shall not be distributed.
(B) The pro rata share of such Members who elect not to withdraw their payment from this Trust Fund shall be managed, invested and administered, together with the funds of members  [1] who have not attained the age of 21 years on the date the final base membership roll is published, until such Member requests in writing that their pro rata share be distributed, at which time such Member’s pro rata share shall be paid, together with the net income of the Trust Fund allocable to such Member’s share as of the date of distribution.
(C) No Member may elect to have their pro rata share retained and managed by this Trust Fund beyond the expiration of the period of 21 years after the date of publication of the final base membership roll.
(6) After payments have been made to all Members entitled to receive payments, this Trust Fund shall terminate, and any balance remaining in this Trust Fund shall be merged into the Economic Development Trust Fund, the Education Trust Fund, or the Social Services and Elderly Assistance Trust Fund, as the Tribe may determine.
(i) Duration of trust funds
Subject to the provisions of this section and with the exception of the Catawba Per Capita Payment Trust Fund, the Trust Funds established in accordance with this section shall continue in existence so long as the Tribe exists and is recognized by the United States. The principal of these Trust Funds shall not be invaded or distributed except as expressly authorized in this subchapter or in the Settlement Agreement.
(j) Transfer of money among trust funds
The Tribe, in consultation with the Secretary, shall have the authority to transfer principal and accumulated income between Trust Funds only as follows:
(1) Funds may be transferred among the Catawba Economic Development Trust Fund, the Catawba Land Acquisition Trust Fund, and the Catawba Social Services and Elderly Assistance Trust Fund, and from any of those three Trust Funds into the Catawba Education Trust Fund; except, that the mandatory share of State, local, and private sector funds invested in the original corpus of the Catawba Education Trust Fund shall not be transferred to any other Trust Fund.
(2) Any Trust Fund, except for the Catawba Education Trust Fund, may be dissolved by a vote of two-thirds of those Members eligible to vote, and the assets in such Trust Fund shall be transferred to the remaining Trust Funds; except, that
(A) no assets shall be transferred from any of the Trust Funds into the Catawba Per Capita Payment Trust Fund, and
(B) the mandatory share of State, local and private funds invested in the original corpus of the Catawba Education Trust Fund may not be transferred or used for any non-educational purposes.
(3) The dissolution of any Trust Fund shall require the approval of the Secretary pursuant to the Secretarial approval provisions set forth in subsection (b)(5)(D) of this section.
(k) Trust fund accounting
(1) The Secretary shall account to the Tribe periodically, and at least annually, for all Catawba Trust Funds being managed and administered by the Secretary. The accounting shall—
(A) identify the assets in which the Trust Funds have been invested during the relevant period;
(B) report income earned during the period, distinguishing current income and capital gains;
(C) indicate dates and amounts of distributions to the Tribe, separately distinguishing current income, accumulated income, and distributions of principal; and
(D) identify any invasions or repayments of principal during the relevant period and record provisions the Tribe has made for repayment or restoration of principal.
(2)
(A) Any outside investment management firm engaged by the Tribe shall account to the Tribe and separately to the Secretary at periodic intervals, at least quarterly. Its accounting shall—
(i) identify the assets in which the Trust Funds have been invested during the relevant period;
(ii) report income earned during the period, separating current income and capital gains;
(iii) indicate dates and amounts of distributions to the Tribe, distinguishing current income, accumulated income, and distributions of principal; and
(iv) identify any invasions or repayments of principal during the relevant period and record provisions the Tribe has made for repayment or restoration of principal.
(B) Prior to distributing principal from any Trust Fund, the investment management firm shall notify the Secretary of the proposed distribution and the Tribe’s proposed use of such funds, following procedures to be agreed upon by the investment management firm, the Secretary, and the Tribe. The Secretary shall have 15 days within which to object in writing to any such invasion of principal. Failure to object will be deemed approval of the distribution.
(C) All Trust Funds held and managed by any investment management firm shall be audited annually by a certified public accounting firm approved by the Secretary, and a copy of the annual audit shall be submitted to the Tribe and to the Secretary within four months following the close of the Trust Funds’ fiscal year.
(l) Replacement of investment management firm and modification of investment management plan
The Tribe shall not replace the investment management firm approved by the Secretary without prior written notification to the Secretary and approval by the Secretary of any investment management firm chosen by the Tribe as a replacement. Such Secretarial approval shall be given or denied in accordance with the Secretarial approval provisions contained in subsection (b)(5)(D) of this section. The Tribe and its investment management firm shall also notify the Secretary in writing of any revisions in the investment management plan which materially increase investment risk or significantly change the investment management plan, or the agreement, made in consultation with the Secretary pursuant to which the outside management firm was retained.
(m) Trust funds not counted for certain purposes; use as matching funds
None of the funds, assets, income, payments, or distributions from the Trust Funds established pursuant to this section shall at any time affect the eligibility of the Tribe or its Members for, or be used as a basis for denying or reducing funds to the Tribe or its Members under any Federal, State, or local program. Distributions from these Trust Funds may be used as matching funds, where appropriate, for Federal grants or loans.


[1]  So in original. Probably should be capitalized.

Source

(Pub. L. 103–116, § 11,Oct. 27, 1993, 107 Stat. 1127.)
References in Text

For the effective date of this subchapter, referred to in subsecs. (d)(4)(B) and (e)(3), see Effective Date note set out under section 941 of this title.

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25 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

 

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