Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Cobell | Opinion
Letter: United States destroyed Indian culture


"In 1887, Congress enacted the General Allotment Act and inaugurated the policy of allotment, one in a seemingly endless line of failed federal initiatives to assimilate Indian people by “destroying tribes” and “eradicating native culture,” as the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia put it. The plan was simple: Divide the remaining tribal landholdings by allotting small parcels to each tribal member. Any “surplus” land would be opened up for non-Indian settlement. Indian consent, rarely sought, was never a requisite.

The consequence was both predictable and devastating to native peoples. Of the 138 million acres in tribal hands as of 1887, 48 million remained when allotment ended in 1934. Ten million acres were owned in small parcels by individual Indians. For these lands, the United States appointed itself trustee, with all the powers to sell and lease Indian assets – oil, gas, timber, rights of way, etc. – without obtaining the landowners’ permission.

I am not whining. Who destroyed our culture?"

Get the Story:
Eugene Dumont: Critic of Indians needs history lesson (The Fargo Forum 12/12)
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Final Briefs:
Cobell Brief: Conclusions of Law | Cobell Brief: Findings of Fact DOJ Brief: Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Trial Transcripts:
Day 1 AM | Day 1 PM | Day 2 AM | Day 2 PM | Day 3 AM | Day 3 PM | Day 4 AM | Day 4 PM | Day 5 AM | Day 5 PM | Day 6 AM | Day 6 PM | Day 7 AM | Day 7 PM | Day 8 AM | Day 8 PM | Day 9 AM | Day 9 PM | Day 10 AM | Day 10 PM

Trial Order:
Cobell v. Kempthorne (April 20,2007)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

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