Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Cobell | Opinion
Editorial: Acknowledge past mistakes in trust fund


"We’re glad to see the end is in sight for American Indians’ lawsuit against the federal government over alleged mismanagement of individual trust accounts.

Ultimately, the Indians lowered their settlement demand. The Oklahoman’s Chris Casteel reports that they offered to settle for $27.5 billion in 2005. They could have continued to fight, but one tribal leader in the case said they realized the proceedings could drag on much longer and that individual account holders, some of whom live in extreme poverty, need help now.

It was an unfortunate situation — starting with Interior’s long insistence that its audits of accounts didn’t show significant depositing errors. Certainly, the announced settlement vindicates the Indians’ claim.

While that vindication isn’t helpful to the account holders financially, there’s some satisfaction in hearing Washington acknowledge past mistakes."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Settling up: Some satisfaction in lawsuit’s end (The Oklahoman 12/11)

Relevant Documents:
Agreement | Press Release | Q&A | Audio

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