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Sen. Tester calls for speedy distribution of Cobell settlement

Filed Under: Cobell | Politics
More on: 113th, doi, jon tester, scia, senate

Indian beneficiaries in Oklahoma demand release of Cobell settlement funds at this protest last year. Photo from Katherine Ware-Perosi / Change.Org

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) urged the administrator of the $3.4 billion Cobell settlement to distribute checks to Indian beneficiaries as soon as possible.

Garden City Group sent out the first payment in December 2012. The check for the Historical Accounting Class was $1,000.

The payment for the Trust Administration Class, however, has been tied up for a number of reasons. But Judge Thomas F. Hogan approved distribution of the payment while the appeals process continues.

“This ruling clears the way for hundreds of thousands of Native Americans to receive their long-delayed payments," Tester, the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee said in a press release. "I encourage the Garden City Group to quickly get these payments out the door for Indian families who have been asking for justice.”

Most beneficiaries know much they are receiving from the Trust Administration Class. But they feared they might have to wait until December to see the money.

Thanks to Hogan's order, the payment should be out within the next three months. The Interior Department has indicated it needs about a month to clear up some property records before Garden City can mail the checks.

Relevant Documents:
Judge Hogan's Order (May 29, 2014) | Plaintiffs' Motion (May 23, 2014)

Related Stories:
Cobell settlement checks expected within next three months (6/3)
Judge approves distribution of second Cobell settlement check (5/30)
Cobell team to meet with beneficiaries in Oklahoma next week (5/30)
Tex Hall: Distribute minimum payments from Cobell settlement (05/19)
Long-delayed Cobell payments range from $850 to nearly $10M (05/19)
Native Sun News: Cobell checks could be delayed to December (05/14)
Cobell attorneys provide update on settlement amid complaints (05/13)
Indian beneficiaries demand release of Cobell settlement fund (5/12)
Jay Daniels: Cobell settlement was flawed from beginning (04/18)
Cobell settlement administrator responds to payment delay (04/16)
Letter from Cobell attorneys on second settlement payment (04/16)
Lawmakers question delay in payments from Cobell settlement (04/03)

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