indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
McCain and Dorgan introduce trust reform legislation
Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sens. John McCain (R-Arizona) and Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee introduced a comprehensive trust reform bill on Wednesday. Here is a title by title explanation of S.1439, the Indian Trust Reform Act of 2005.

Title I
This section would provide a mechanism to settle the Cobell v. Norton trust fund lawsuit. It doesn't provide a dollar amount but says the settlement fund would be distributed by the Department of Treasury and a Special Master, appointed by Treasury.

The fund will be distributed in two ways. First, a portion would be distributed equally to every Individual Indian Money (IIM) beneficiary. Then, each account holder would receive money based on the type of activity that occurred on his or her land.

A portion of the fund would also be used for attorneys fees, administrating the settlement and for successful court challenges by individual Indians who dispute their settlement amounts.

Title II
This section creates an Indian Trust Asset Management Policy Review Commission of 12 members to review all current trust resource management laws and the Interior Department's trust resource management practices. The commission would then submit a report to Congress with recommendations for improving trust asset management.

Title III
This section creates an eight-year Indian Trust Resource Management Demonstration Project. Tribes would be able to negotiate their own management plans with the Interior Department in accordance with the federal trust responsibility and certain standards.

Title IV
This section allows the Interior Department "to offer more than fair market value" for fractional interests. It allows the department to "settle any and all mismanagement claims" associated with the land. However, the settlement is not mandatory.

This section also allows the department to make offers for "extremely fractionated land" parcels through the mail. If a landowner doesn't respond within 90 days, the offer will be deemed accepted.

Title V
This section creates a new Under Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Interior Department. The under secretary would assume control over the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians. But OST would be "abolished" by December 31, 2008, and a new Office of Trust Reform Implementation and Oversight would be created.

The section makes sure that Indian preference will apply to the new under secretary's office.

Title VI
This section requires the Government Accountability Office to perform a yearly audit of the Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust and each individual tribal trust account.

McCain's statement to the Senate floor cited the "regrettable" management of the Indian trust. He said the Cobell case, filed in 1996, has shown "that the United States has not lived up to its duty as a fiduciary to the thousands of Indian beneficiaries of IIM accounts."

In his statement, Dorgan said the bill is not "perfect." "Rather, it is intended to be a starting point for substantive and productive dialogue between the parties," he said.

Tex Hall, the president of the National Congress of American Indians, said the bill "needs to go further." "There is an old saying amongst the elders in Hidatsa Country," he said. "It goes like this, 'Show me the money!' Today, all of Indian Country is asking the same question, 'where is the money?'"

Hall is scheduled to testify before the Senate committee's hearing on the bill next Tuesday, July 26.

Senate Documents:
John McCain Statement | Byron Dorgan Statement | Full Text of Bill as Introduced

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

Related Story:
Federal official: Native trust fund accounts vulnerable (The Lincoln Journal Star 7/21)

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

Related Stories:
Opinion: Keep open mind on Cobell settlement (7/19)
McCain plans hearing on Cobell settlement, reform (7/14)
Judge blasts Interior on handling of trust (7/13)
Elouise Cobell: Principles put trust back into trust fund (07/07)
Cobell and Cason to appear on C-SPAN program (7/6)
Cobell calls for settlement of trust fund lawsuit (7/5)
Editorial: Resolution of trust fund debacle needed (7/5)
Editorial: Abramoff scandal can't compare to trust (6/30)
Opinion: Downfall of Indians traced to Army, BIA (6/28)
Pombo supports settlement of Cobell trust fund case (6/27)
Harjo: Tribes lobby to fleece their own people (6/24)
Editorial: Congress should settle trust fund (6/24)
Editorial: Trust fund a 'national embarassment' (6/22)
Indian Country united on trust reform solutions (6/21)
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)
Lamberth defends special master against attack (03/16)
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)

Copyright 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: First Nations Sculpture Garden breaks ground (8/28)
Native Sun News: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe misses Cobell deadline (8/28)
James Giago Davies: There's trouble brewing on the racist horizon (8/28)
Simon Moya-Smith: A Republican slur on our indigenous relatives (8/28)
Kyle Mays: Connections between Creole and Native communities (8/28)
Mike Myers: Tribes deserve our own seats on international level (8/28)
Navajo Nation to reopen irrigation canal after Gold King mine spill (8/28)
County hopes to revive foreclosure lawsuit against Cayuga Nation (8/28)
Washington Supreme Court affirms legality of tribal gas compacts (8/28)
Nooksack Tribe concerned about impact of slowly melting glaciers (8/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe prepares for decision on gaming plan (8/28)
San Manuel Band hires executive director for gaming commission (8/28)
Kumeyaay Nation still waiting to repatriate ancestors despite win (8/27)
IHS plans to expand service area for Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe (8/27)
Native Sun News: Health workers join together for race relations (8/27)
Ivan Star: Oglala Sioux government fails majority of our people (8/27)
Steve Russell: Donald Trump isn't the only crazy one in the race (8/27)
Harlan McKosato: Isleta Pueblo opposes city development plan (8/27)
Julianne Jennings: People of color must unite for justice or else (8/27)
Hillary Clinton campaign reaches out to tribal voters in Nevada (8/27)
EPA releases internal report into Gold King Mine spill disaster (8/27)
Southern Ute Tribe hosts top DOJ officials at crime conference (8/27)
Paper must ask to attend Eastern Cherokee council meetings (8/27)
Koi Nation praises charges against man accused of looting site (8/27)
Pokagon Band breaks ground on village with housing complex (8/27)
Tribes provide fire services on and off reservations in California (8/27)
Chumash Tribe signs new Class III casino compact in California (8/27)
Tohono O'odham Nation heading back in court in casino lawsuit (8/27)
Ak-Chin Indian Community announces $100M casino expansion (8/27)
Lower Sioux Indian Community debuts $22M casino expansion (8/27)
Little Traverse Bay Bands plan new development at old casino (8/27)
Seminole Tribe wins major ruling in taxation dispute in Florida (8/26)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets hearing on EPA mine spill (8/26)
Indian Health Service to hold a second meeting for LGBT issues (8/26)
Obama picks for National Advisory Council on Indian Education (8/26)
Native Sun News: Lakota grandmother debuts film about uranium (8/26)
Native Sun News: Miss Crow Fair thanks family for strong support (8/26)
Terese Marie Mailhot: Beware of vicious and deadly gossip on rez (8/26)
Former Navajo Nation leaders blamed for lack of women's shelter (8/26)
Man charged with murder of Crow Tribe couple could face death (8/26)
Former executives charged with theft from Chippewa Cree Tribe (8/26)
Northern Arapaho Tribe asks Obama to drop appeal in eagle case (8/26)
Kickapoo Tribe adds former treasurer to lawsuit against ex-chair (8/26)
Final defendant sentenced for murder on Wind River Reservation (8/26)
County finally agrees to discuss land issues with Chumash Tribe (8/26)
Lytton Band faces local opposition to land development projects (8/26)
Mohegan Tribe welcomes visitors to new sub shop in Connecticut (8/26)
Gun Lake Tribe consolidates governmental offices at new campus (8/26)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.