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Trust
Swimmer calls Cobell settlement 'reparations'


Special Trustee Ross Swimmer says a settlement to the Cobell trust fund lawsuit is not a "repayment" to Indian beneficiaries but "reparations" for them.

"Just pick a number," he tells the Associated Press.

According to Swimmer and his subordinates, however, the number should be rather low. "It's a number in the m's, not the b's," Fritz Scheuren, a statistician in charge of the Bush administration's statistical sampling of the Indian trust, tells the AP.

The Cobell plaintiffs, tribal leaders and independent experts agree a settlement is in the billions. A bill pending in Congress would authorize payments to account holders but a figure hasn't been reached.

Get the Story:
Counting up what American Indians are owed (AP 5/7)
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Judge Lamberth Rulings
Trust Fund Notices (July 12, 2005) | Internet Shutdown (October 20, 2005)

Indian Trust Reform Act:
S.1439 | H.R.4322

Relevant Documents:
Trust Reform and Cobell Settlement Workgroup Principles for Legislation (June 2005)

Relevant Links:
National Congress of American Indians - http://www.ncai.org
Intertribal Trust Fund Monitoring Association - http://www.itmatrustfunds.org
Indian Land Working Group - http://www.ilwg.net
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm
Senate Indian Affairs Committee - http://indian.senate.gov

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