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
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Delvin Cree: Cobell brings millions to Turtle Mountain members

Filed Under: Cobell | Opinion
More on: delvin cree, elouise cobell, north dakota, tmbci
     

Elouise Cobell, the lead plaintiff of the Cobell v Salazar class action lawsuit would be a happy woman today, knowing beneficiaries in the case will finally be receiving compensation for the mismanagement of individual Indian money (IIM) accounts held in trust by the federal government.

Though payments will not be close to what beneficiaries are owed, many will accept what is being offered. A total of 350,000 beneficiaries will be compensated and will share in the $3.4 billion settlement.

A woman with extraordinary leadership, Cobell battled the government for 15 years before she passed away late last year from cancer. In a case that was filed in 1996, she fought on behalf of individual Indians who have lost royalties due to oil and gas, farming, timber and other activities on their trust lands.

A settlement in the case was announced in December 2009. A $3.4 billion dollar deal was made but opposition in Congress slowed the historical case to a halt. One concern among class members during this time frame was that many have died waiting for Cobell to be settled. As many as 12,000 beneficiaries died before seeing their share of the settlement.

A year later, in December 2010, Congress finally approved the settlement. As the case moved forward through court proceedings a few appeals would be filed by beneficiaries, bringing the settlement to another standing point. The individual appeals would later be thrown out and the case continued to move towards distribution. After the many hurdles in the case, a judge recently ordered payments to 350,000 beneficiaries.

According to the Cobell web site, the settlement will include payouts to two groups of class members:
1) Historical Accounting Class members - Had an open individual Indian money account (IIM) anytime between Oct. 25, 1994 and Sept. 30, 2009.
2) Trust Administration Class members - Had an IIM account recorded in currently available data in federal government systems anytime from approximately 1985 to Sept 30, 2009.

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
As the Cobell settlement moves ahead, members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa have been waiting eagerly as it inches toward the distribution process. Many have interest on fractionated allotments in the state of Montana, northern South Dakota and other areas across North Dakota.

According to David Smith, a member of the Cobell legal team, 350,000 beneficiaries will share in the Cobell Settlement. Of that, 15,441 Turtle Mountain tribal members will benefit from the $1,000 Historical Accounting Class payment with a dollar amount totaling $15.441 million.

The Trust Administration Class payment which will come at a later date. That payment will be paid out to 25,421 from Turtle Mountain. Beneficiaries in the Trust Administration Class will be paid $800 -- plus a share of the balance of settlement funds based on the activity on their trust lands. The total amount is estimated to be around $26.8 million.

Smith also stated there are Historical Accounting Class members whose "whereabouts are unknown and have no contact information. The Cobell web site noted that 40,000 are shown as "whereabouts unknown" and another 10,000 have no contact information in records furnished by the Department of the Interior.

In further information provided by Smith, he said it was important for beneficiaries of the Historical Accounting Class who are not receiving statements on their IIM account to file a Claim before March 1, 2013, a deadline set by the court.

More information is available by calling 2 toll free numbers. 1-800-961-6109 or 1-866-383-6554 or going to the Cobell site www.indiantrust.com. The mailing address is:

Indian Trust Settlement
P.O. Box 9577
Dublin, OH 43017-4877

Delvin Cree is a freelance journalist. He is a daily contributor to indianz.com and Indian Country Today Media Network, both national news sources for Indian Country.


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:
Tribes rest easy as Supreme Court wraps up a surprising session (6/24)
Tribes in northern California take action to protect salmon runs (6/24)
Aaron Payment re-elected as chairman of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe (6/24)
Gun Lake Tribe hosts annual Sweet Grass Moon Powwow in July (6/24)
Native Sun News: First Native hockey referee 'Butchy' passes on (6/24)
Delphine Red Shirt: Lakota people denied voting rights on our land (6/24)
Ruth Hopkins: Saving sacred Bear Butte from a massive biker bar (6/24)
Terese Mailhot: Becoming a better ally after the Orlando shooting (6/24)
April Youpee-Roll: Elizabeth Warren owes more to Indian Country (6/24)
Another land-into-trust fix reportedly being drafted in the Senate (6/24)
Federal charges filed in kidnapping of girl on Fort Peck Reservation (6/24)
Non-Indian charged for trespassing at Nambe Pueblo in New Mexico (6/24)
St. Croix Chippewa Tribe warned not to launch marijuana operation (6/24)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe breaks ground on $34M expansion at casino (6/24)
Non-Indian gaming firm loses challenge to law for new tribal casino (6/24)
Grand Ronde Tribes to finish demolition work at site of old racetrack (6/24)
Supreme Court deadlocks in closely-watched tribal jurisdiction case (6/23)
Matthew Fletcher: 'Huge win' for Mississippi Choctaw court system (6/23)
Native American Basketball Invitational draws top talent to Arizona (6/23)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe almost done with long-awaited theater (6/23)
Susanville Rancheria thanks lawmakers for help with land-into-trust (6/23)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on three bills (6/23)
Supreme Court backs affirmative action policy in long-running case (6/23)
Native Sun News: Senate committee takes on Indian Health Service (6/23)
Mark Trahant: A Republican plan to terminate Indian Health Service (6/23)
James Giago Davies: Welfare for corporations but nothing for tribes (6/23)
Peter d'Errico: Justice Clarence Thomas critiques federal Indian law (6/23)
Two charged for beating and setting woman from Crow Tribe on fire (6/23)
White House defends fracking regulation imposed on Indian lands (6/23)
Mescalero Apache woman hosts fundraiser for Miss United States (6/23)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to collect sales tax on entire reservation (6/23)
Seneca-Cayuga Nation ordered to conduct another council election (6/23)
Poarch Creek land-into-trust bill could help casino effort in Florida (6/23)
Cherokee Nation enters deal to run commercial casino in Arkansas (6/23)
Tohono O'odham Nation told to turn over casino-related documents (6/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee debates marijuana & sovereignty (6/22)
Major trust reform bill supported by Indian Country signed into law (6/22)
President Obama signs land-into-trust bill for Susanville Rancheria (6/22)
Chairman Jim Boyd from Colville Tribes passes away at age of 60 (6/22)
Tribes take more control of their land with HEARTH Act regulations (6/22)
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community adds another 128 acres (6/22)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge Reservation graduates celebrate (6/22)
Native Sun News: Year of Reconciliation sees another anniversary (6/22)
Former Fond du Lac Band chairman Peter Defoe passes on at 77 (6/22)
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.