Maine Indian Land Claims Case: After learning of a federal law that prohibited states from purchasing Indian land without congressional approval, Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Indians sued the state of Maine for violating that law in three separate treaties, signed two hundred years earlier. Maine Indians claimed possession of 12.5 million acres of land and billions of dollars of back rent for that land. The case, which raged on for almost a decade, was finally settled out of court in 1980. The Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and Maliseet tribes received a total of $81.5 million from the state (which was paid for largely by the federal government), with which they bought 300,000 acres of land, set up tribal trust funds, and invested in several new business enterprises. In exchange, the tribes gave up all future claims on Maine land.

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