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Trust
Editorial: McCain and Dorgan should fix trust bill


"Nine years ago, Elouise Cobell sued the Interior and Treasury Departments on behalf of more than half a million Native Americans who are the beneficiaries - if that is the right word - of individual trusts held for them by the federal government. Since that time, she has won the legal skirmishing, but has been impeded by obstruction on the part of the government. It's time she also got real justice.

Records have been lost and destroyed, and Indians who should have enjoyed the benefit of the valuable leases on their property have died. Ms. Cobell's successes in court - and repeated contempt citations against the Interior Department - have illuminated the ongoing deceit over these accounts, but they have not yet resulted in real paybacks for the defrauded Indians. In recent years, Congress has addressed the issue only as part of an effort to void any attempt at a real historical accounting.

The current leaders of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Senators John McCain and Byron Dorgan, have better motives. In the last weeks before the Senate adjourned, they introduced legislation to amend the Indian Trust Reform Act. But as it stands, their proposal is at best a rough sketch of a bill. Its greatest merit is its honorable intentions."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Fixing an Old Injustice (The New York Times 8/4)
pwnyt

Senate Testimony:
Hearing on S. 1439, Indian Trust Reform Act of 2005 (July 26, 2005)

Additional Testimony:
Sen. McCain Statement | Ernie Stensgar | Hoopa Valley Tribe | Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

S.1439 Documents:
John McCain Statement | Byron Dorgan Statement | Full Text of Bill as Introduced | S.1439

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

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

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