Statement by Sen. Dorgan on Cobell Settlement
STATEMENT BY SENATOR BYRON DORGAN (D-NORTH DAKOTA),
CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS
“I welcome today’s announcement that a settlement agreement between the plaintiffs of the Cobell lawsuit and the federal government has been reached. For a long time, I have believed that settling the case, rather than continuing to litigate it for more years, at even greater cost, is the best course.
“For many, many, many years, the federal government’s performance of its trust responsibility for assets owned by American Indians has been shameful. The losses incurred by Native Americans as a result of the federal government’s mismanagement of Indian trust accounts have been enormous.
“Ultimately, Congress must approve implementation of this settlement. I am committed to ensuring that the settlement is fair and equitable, and to Congress considering it expeditiously.
“I especially want to congratulate Secretary Salazar for his successful efforts to settle this case. By allowing the federal government to move beyond the Cobell lawsuit, he is clearing the decks for the federal government to begin acting to keep the many other promises it made to Native Americans, including health care, housing, law enforcement, and the many other areas where action has been long postponed.”