What is expected to be four days of hearings have begun in a lawsuit alleging the Manitoba government misappropriated more than $250 million meant for Indigenous children in care.

Indigenous child welfare agencies claim the province began clawing back money from the federally run Children's Special Allowance Act in 2006 and did not stop the practice until 2019.

Lawyers for the child welfare agencies say the case is a dispute between Indigenous peoples and the province.

The judge may at the end of the week order the government to repay the funds.