Rush to cash government settlement checks collapses bank floor

The Lower Brule Tribe began issuing $750 checks to about 3,800 members on Tuesday as part of a settlement with the federal government over the abuse and mishandling of tribal assets.

The Crow Creek Tribe in nearby Fort Thompson started issuing $800 checks to about 4,000 tribal members on Monday.

That’s more than $6 million in checks, and people were in a hurry to cash them. Many members of both tribes used the Lower Brule bank before the floor collapsed.

Lower Brule Bureau of Indian Affairs Superintendent James Two Bulls said the floor just gave way.

“Too many people standing in one place,” Two Bulls said.