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Trust
Editorial: Resolution of trust fund debacle needed


"Congress should consider a legal settlement proposed recently by prominent American Indian leaders. For 118 years, Uncle Sam has mismanaged Indian assets such as oil royalties and grazing leases. But for nearly a decade, the government has fought the Indians' quest to get a proper accounting of their assets. Given the complexity of fully auditing all the accounts - there are at least 300,000 and perhaps 500,000 of them - a negotiated settlement is the best way to fix the mess.

The trouble dates to 1887, when Congress broke 90 million acres of Indian reservations into 160-acre allotments. The government was supposed to manage the allotments in trust for individual Indians, but there was trouble from the get-go - and the Interior Department has proved unable (or unwilling) to solve the problems. In 1996, the Boulder-based Native American Rights Fund and former Denver lawyer Dennis Gingold sued the government on behalf of Indians whose assets were at stake.

The feds deserved to get sued."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Indian trust idea promising (The Denver Post 7/5)

Relevant Documents:
Trust Reform and Cobell Settlement Workgroup Principles for Legislation (June 2005)

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

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