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Trust
DOI denies mismanagement of Indian trust funds


The Interior Department hasn't mismanaged the Indian trust and won't settle the Cobell v. Norton case for a payment, according to a spokesperson for Secretary Gale Norton.

The spokesperson said a proposed settlement of $27.4 billion is uncalled for because the Individual Indian Money (IIM) accounts have few errors. The Bush administration has made the same claim for tribal accounts.

Elouise Cobell, the lead plaintiff in the case, offered the $27.4 billion figure at a press conference on Monday. She was joined by Tex Hall, the president of the National Congress of American Indians; Jim Gray, the chief of the Osage Nation; and Sharon Clahchischilliage, the executive director of the Navajo Nation Washington Office in embracing a bill to settle the lawsuit and reform the trust system.

The team outlined 50 principles [PDF] to guide the effort. Legislation is expected to be introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) later this month.

Get the Story:
Indian Leaders Seek to Settle Lawsuit Over Leasing of Land (The Washington Post 6/21)
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Attorney seeking billions for tribes (The Oklahoman 6/21)
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Indian leaders establish amount (The Great Falls Tribune 6/21)
Navajo delegation lobbies Washington for land payment (The Farmington Daily Times 6/21)
Tribal leaders seek billions in settlement (Scripps Howard News Service 6/21)
American Indians seek settlement as part of trust reform legislation (The Federal Times 6/21)
Indians offer to settle lawsuit for $27.5 billion AP 6/21)

Relevant Links:
National Congress of American Indians - http://www.ncai.org
Intertribal Trust Fund Monitoring Association - http://www.itmatrustfunds.org
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm
Senate Indian Affairs Committee - http://indian.senate.gov

Related Stories:
Trust workgroup to outline Cobell settlement goals (6/17)
Echohawk optimistic on settlement of Cobell case (06/03)
Final trust reform meeting held in North Dakota (6/3)
UTTC hosts meeting on trust reform legislation (6/1)
House panel acts to restore Bush budget cuts (05/05)
NCAI and ITMA hold second trust reform meeting (05/04)
Bush administration won't give up fight on Cobell (03/18)
McCain weighs GAO probe of Indian trust debacle (03/10)
McCain lays out Indian agenda for 109th Congress (3/7)
Norton won't testify on trust fund retaliation (2/28)
Bush official won't accept claims of trust mismanagement (02/17)
Appeals court won't hold back Lamberth on trust reform (12/13)
Appeals court supports Lamberth's authority on IT (12/06)
Lamberth critical of Norton's 'bad faith' on trust fund (10/25)
Interior denies attempt to halt trust fund payments (10/05)
Bush administration challenges trust fund ruling (09/16)
Appeals court takes on Cobell trust fund case (9/15)
Lamberth exchanges harsh words with Cobell critic (08/02)
Bush administration calls for end to Cobell case (04/09)
Cobell trust fund suit mediators announced (4/6)
DOI's Internet connection shut down for third time (03/16)
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Anderson praises Cobell suit in NCAI speech (2/25)
Tribes still frustrated on trust reform (11/20)
Bush officials blasted by tribal leaders (11/19)
Cobell plaintiffs disputing trust fund rider (11/17)
Daschle criticizes 'shameful' rider in DOI budget bill (11/04)
Norton welcomes time-out in Cobell trust fund case (11/4)
Bush official balks at large settlement for Cobell (7/10)