Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

MTPR: Indian beneficiaries wait for share of Cobell settlement





"In a brick building near Helena’s downtown on Wednesday, the nonprofit Helena Indian Alliance was preparing for their annual Christmas Party

“We have a big feast,” said Marciana Garay, an elderly Blackfeet woman in a white sweater with a decorative blue handkerchief tied around her neck. “Everybody brings a side dish and then we have a Santa clause for the children and we give out little gifts to them.”

Garay is one of thousands of Montanans who will be receiving a check from the landmark Cobell settlement with the federal government. Elouise Cobell was Garay’s distant cousin. She remembers speaking with Cobell many years ago on the Blackfeet reservation.

“And we would discuss all the thefts goin on with various companies coming in and taking oil,” Garay said.

Cobell worked as treasurer of the Blackfeet tribe for years. She discovered inconsistencies in how Indian trust lands and other funds were being managed by the federal government. Royalties from things like oil or lumber production on those lands were supposed to be going back to the Indian land owners. Cobell filed a lawsuit against the government in the mid-1990s. She lived to see the settlement reached in 2009."

Get the Story:
First payments in Cobell Settlement soon heading to Native Americans (Montana Public Radio 12/12)

Also Today:
Check disbursements authorized in $3.4 billion Indian land royalty lawsuit (AP 12/12)

Relevant Documents:
Cobell v. Salazar (December 11, 2012)

Related Stories:
Judge orders first round of payments from Cobell settlement (12/12)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Winners and losers in Cobell settlement (12/11)
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Dennis Gingold withdraws as counsel in Cobell trust fund case (12/7)
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Editorial: Elouise Cobell worked tirelessly for trust settlement (12/3)
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NPR: South Dakota beneficiaries await share of Cobell payout (11/30)
Jay Daniels: Christmas and Cobell - what about the day after? (11/29)
Upwards of 50K in Oklahoma share in $3.4B Cobell settlement (11/29)
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