indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Secretary Salazar anticipates Cobell payments by end of year

Filed Under: Cobell | National
More on: doi, ken salazar, kevin washburn, ncai, ost, supreme court, trust reform, vince logan
     


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (r) and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn (l) discuss Indian issues prior to their speeches at the National Congress of American Indians 69th annual convention in Sacramento, California. October 22, 2012. Photo © Indianz.Com

Payments from the $3.4 billion Cobell settlement could go out by the end of the year, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in an interview on Monday.

Four Indian beneficiaries are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the settlement. But Salazar expected their petitions for certiorari to be rejected.

"We'll wait for the Supreme Court denial of cert, which we expect, and we'll be able to deploy that program fully by the end of the year," Salazar said before his address at the National Congress of American Indian 69th annual conference in Sacramento, California.

One petition, filed by Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate member Kimberly Craven, is up for consideration this Friday, according to Docket No. 12-134. The justices could deny it outright or they might wait to consider it along with a petition filed by three other beneficiaries.

The second petition is not yet up for consideration, according to Docket No. 12-355.

If both petitions are rejected, as Salazar expects, the Interior Department will be able to distribute $1.412 billion in payments to Indian beneficiaries. Most will receive $1,800, but many could see even more, depending on the type of activity in their trust account.

Denial of cert also means the department can move forward with a $1.9 billion program to consolidate fractionated interests. Indian landowners will be paid, on a voluntary basis, for their small land holdings, which will then be returned to tribal governments.

"We're going to be ready to hit the ground running as soon as the Supreme Court makes a decision," Salazar said.

In addition to the cash component, the settlement created the National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform to make recommendations for trust reform efforts. The panel has been meeting since March.

"We wanted to make sure we had Indian Country very involved with us as we move forward," Salazar said.

Under the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994, the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians oversees trust reform at the department. But the Obama administration has left the post vacant since January 2009.

"The Office of Special Trustee was supposed to be temporary and not forever," Salazar noted.

In August, President Barack Obama nominated Vincent Logan, a member of the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, to serve as Special Trustee. The position requires Senate confirmation.

Salazar said he will look to Kevin Washburn, the new leader of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to help guide trust reform efforts. Tribal leaders have complained about budget cuts to the BIA during the Bush administration, when the OST's size and scope were dramatically increased.

"This administration is getting close to the finish line with the Cobell settlement," Washburn said in an interview yesterday.

Related Stories:
Beneficiaries want Supreme Court to review Cobell settlement (09/24)
Obama nominates Vince Logan, Osage, as new Special Trustee (09/24)
S.E. Ruckman: Indian Country wants to see Cobell payouts (09/18)
ICT refused to run Keith Harper's response on Cobell stories (09/18)
Keith Harper: Just a few truths about Obama, Cobell and me (9/12)
Ask Elouise: Lead counsel Dennis Gingold on status of payout (09/11)
Native Sun News: Cobell settlement on hold with more appeals (08/31)
Reply for Kimberly Craven's Cobell appeal due September 21 (08/24)
Kimberly Craven appeal delays $3.4B Cobell settlement again (08/23)
Cobell critic asks Supreme Court to review $3.4B settlement (08/20)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Remarks by Obama at White House Tribal Nations Conference (9/26)
President Obama signs bill to promote Native tourism into law (9/26)
Lakota Country Times: #NoDAPL lands before United Nations (9/26)
Native Sun News Today: Rosebud Sioux group celebrates win (9/26)
Clara Caufield: Look around because Indians are everywhere (9/26)
Rodney Butler/Kevin Brown: Tribes committed to new casino (9/26)
Gyasi Ross: Obama's legacy on the line with Dakota pipeline (9/26)
Steven Newcomb: Statue on Kumeyaay territory based on lie (9/26)
Peter d'Errico: Book encourages return to a 'tribal' way of life (9/26)
Review: 'Inspiring' documentary about Elouise Cobell's battle (9/26)
More California tribes welcome labor unions at gaming facilities (9/26)
Ho-Chunk Nation starts work on major casino expansion project (9/26)
Obama administration asks tribes about infrastructure projects (9/23)
House passes measure to combat illegal sale of tribal property (9/23)
Mike Rounds: Righting historical wrongs against Native citizens (9/23)
Indian Health Service names new medical officer in Great Plains (9/23)
Interior Department finalizes rule for Native Hawaiian relations (9/23)
Native Sun News Today: Democrat accepts invitation to debate (9/23)
Jeffrey Whalen: A failed experiment in socialism at Pine Ridge (9/23)
Mary Annette Pember: A young boy's journey to Standing Rock (9/23)
Harlan McKosato: Obama must keep promise to Indian people (9/23)
Dean Suagee: Native input needed to guide future of our parks (9/23)
Another North Dakota tribe battles pipeline company in court (9/23)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe extends Class III gaming compact again (9/23)
Top gaming executive on Navajo Nation put on leave with pay (9/23)
Bill slammed as 'modern day Indian land grab' moves forward (9/22)
Republican lawmaker eagerly defends Dakota Access Pipeline (9/22)
Appeals court in DC sets stage for October 5 #NoDAPL hearing (9/22)
Bureau of Indian Affairs role in #NoDAPL 'task force' in doubt (9/22)
Miami language champion Daryl Baldwin earns 'genius grant' (9/22)
Landowners from Lower Brule Sioux Tribe see $11M in offers (9/22)
Mark Trahant: Politicians can no longer ignore the Native vote (9/22)
Native Sun News Today: Nation rallies to #NoDAPL movement (9/22)
Dave Archambault Sr.: History unfolds on Standing Rock land (9/22)
David Ganje: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe takes stand for water (9/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.