Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | Opinion

Editorial: Priceless lessons learned from Cobell trust fund case





"The finish line to a race that started more than 17 years ago will be crossed later this month when plaintiffs in a lawsuit by American Indians against the federal government receive settlement payments.

The suit was filed by the Blackfeet Tribe’s Elouise Cobell and charged the federal government with squandering and mismanaging land trust royalties due to Native American landowners.

The $3.4 billion settlement in the case was reached before Cobell died of cancer in October 2011, but at the time of her death, payments were still delayed.

About 350,000 beneficiaries could start receiving $1,000 checks by the end of the month. Members of the second class in the suit will be paid $800 each, plus a share of the balance of the settlement funds as calculated by a formula based on the activity in their trust accounts. An additional $1.9 billion will be used by the government to buy fractured land allotments to be turned over to tribes. The settlement also will pay for educational scholarships for young Indians."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Lessons from Indian trust fight priceless (The Great Falls Tribune 12/2)

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