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Cobell | Opinion
Editorial: Settlement and accountability in trust fund


"We hope that a settlement reached over a royalty dispute with American Indian tribes will soon reach its end.

The Obama administration proposed a $3.4 billion settlement in the Cobell v. Salazar lawsuit that had its legal beginnings in 1996. The dispute was over mismanagement of Indian trust assets by the federal government.

The class action sought an award of $47 billion, though some said the government may have mismanaged and misappropriated as much as $176 billion. A federal court ruled last year that the plaintiffs should receive only $455.6 million, which led to an appeal and the recent proposed settlement.

Unfortunately, no one will probably ever be able to determine how much trust money owed Native Americans has disappeared. That is not an excuse for victimizing them again, but given the uncertainty and the long dispute, Congress and the courts should approve the agreement."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Settlement and more accountability (The Muskogee Phoenix 12/18)

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

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