Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | Opinion

Ben Carnes: Cobell settlement a knife in Indian people's backs





"“Real justice for these Indians may still lie in the distant future; it may never come at all. This reality makes a statement about our society and our form of government that we should be unwilling to let stand.” Judge Royce Lamberth

Those prophetic words by Lamberth became a reality on June 20 when the federal court in Washington, DC approved the Cobell settlement. There is much ado how this was a major victory as in a David and Goliath scenario. However, one only needs to read in between the fine print to know this was a serious setback. I had already suspected it was a foregone conclusion when the settlement was first announced and Obama signed off on it. This was an easy out for the government; they secured the victory, not us.

The basic provisions of the settlement are:

$1.4 billion to pay Individual Indian Money (IIM) account owners
$1.9 billion Trust Land Consolidation Fund to "purchase" fractionated Individual Indian trust lands.
Not more than $60 million for an Indian Education Scholarship Fund to assist Native people to attend college or vocational school.

Get the Story:
Ben Carnes: Cobell Settlement: A knife in our backs (Eaglemanz Communiqué's 6/22)

Related Stories:
Judge approves $3.4B settlement in Cobell trust fund lawsuit (6/21)
Schedule for fairness hearing for Cobell trust fund settlement (6/20)
Quapaw Tribe tries to opt out of Cobell trust fund settlement (6/20)
Judge to hold fairness hearing for Cobell trust fund settlement (6/17)
Jerilyn DeCoteau: Cobell settlement just doesn't feel right (6/6)
Fairness hearing in Cobell settlement scheduled for June 20 (5/26)