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Trust
Elouise Cobell: Lamberth frustrated with DOI


"In its haste to condemn U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth for his anger over the government's deception, stonewalling, document destruction and witness intimidation in our 10-year-long lawsuit, the News overlooked a crucial conclusion in the Nov. 15 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that helps explain Lamberth's frustration with the government ("Common sense on Indian trusts," Nov. 21).

"It is not disputed," the court held, "that the government failed to be a diligent trustee. In the two decades leading up to the plaintiffs' initiation of their lawsuit, report after report excoriated the government's management of the IIM (Individual Indian Money) trust funds."

That is one of the reasons Lamberth has been so exasperated at the government's foot-dragging and litigation misconduct. Notably, the Court of Appeals went out of its way to emphasize that the Department of Interior as an institution cannot, in any way, be exonerated given the pervasive "malfeasance" that the appellate court previously has cited in the management of the Individual Indian Trust."

Get the Story:
Elouise Cobell: Obdurate government hurts Indians (The Denver Rocky Mountain News 11/28)

Related Story:
Editorial: Common sense on Indian trusts (The Denver Rocky Mountain News 11/21)

Historical Accounting Decision:
Cobell v. Norton (November 15, 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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