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Money Talk

Siyo! I’m Dakota. I was psyched when I received my minor’s trust. These tools can help you design a plan for how to handle a large payment – before you get it.

Test Your Knowledge

So you received your Big Money check. Now what? The safest place to keep the funds you have earned is in a secure bank account. Unlike a check cashing store, a bank or credit union won’t charge you a fee to cash out your money or make a deposit. And relax, there is no need to stress because once deposited, your money is guaranteed secure up to at least $250,000! It sure beats losing a chunk of your cash to the check cashing store or having to store your money in a coffee can, huh? To learn more about opening a bank account, go to the Money Tools section of this website.
You may be considering using some of your Big Money to buy a car. Owning a car is truly exciting, and it offers independence and a source of pride, but it also requires some serious planning. A set of wheels is often the second biggest purchase in someone’s life (second only to purchasing a home)! This makes it essential to budget for this expense. Moreover, the price tag on that car is only one of the expenses you will be paying – just wait until you drive it off the lot! Then you’ll be paying for car insurance, gas, repairs, maintenance, etc. No need to slam on the breaks though. A little careful planning can help. Try filling out this worksheet to discover the true cost for your new ride, and you will be heading in the right direction before you know it.
How far your Big Money goes is dependent on how you budget your money and what types of accounts you choose to leave your money in. Creating a weekly or monthly budget and adhering to a spending plan is one of most important steps to making sure that your money lasts a long time. We suggest that you visit the Money Tools page of this site to get an idea of how to set up a proper budget. Keeping your money in a savings account or deciding to invest in stocks and bonds can also be important considerations. It’s your money, educate yourself to see how far your money can take you!
Per caps have been around for a long time. In the 1940s, the Laguna Pueblo, a small Pueblo in New Mexico, discovered uranium reserves on tribal land. This resulted in an economic boom in their community. As a result of increased tribal revenues, the tribe became one of the first Native American tribes to distribute a portion of the profits to their tribal members through per capita payments.

Over the years, more Indian tribes have started successful business operations and some tribes have chosen to distribute discretionary revenue to tribal members from profit accumulation. This has resulted in the modern day “per caps” that you hear so much about. The per caps are actually revenue from tribal enterprises related to natural resource discovery, casinos, and other business ventures. Occasionally, tribes also have money from lawsuit settlements related to reimbursement for violation of treaty rights, land claims, or other trust settlements with the US government. Since the advent of casino gaming on Indian tribal lands in the 1990s, more tribes have either begun making per capita payments, or have increased the amount of existing payments.

The minor’s trust payout, or Big Money, is your per capita distribution that has been held in trust for you until you turn 18 or 21. It grows over time, both because there is an amount put in every year, and because it (hopefully) is earning a good return or interest rate. So in other words, your Big Money is the result of your tribal leaders successfully managing tribal operations and providing resources for the next generation of tribal members. Pretty cool, huh?

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Ho Chunk, Meskwaki Tribe are examples of Native American tribes that have per capita distributions.

Pow Wow, Office of the Special Trustee, Cobell Settlement