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Harjo: Ross Swimmer still taking care of Indians

"Indian trust is well-managed by U.S.'' That statement is: a) The punch line of a shaggy BIA joke;

b) The first line of the Interior Department's request to Congress for money to take care of Indians;

c) The losing proposition in any tribal debate in any week of any year; or

d) The title of an opinion piece written by Interior Special Trustee Ross Swimmer for the July 28 Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The correct answer is the last option, although none of the other choices would be wrong.

Swimmer is still on the job, taking care of Indians, most notably of late as the mastermind behind the strategy of fighting legal efforts to force a federal accounting of missing billions of Indian trust monies.

He is best remembered for his stint as Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the 1980s. Indian leaders and Congress stopped his plans to hand over Indian education to the states and Indian trust monies to private banks, but he succeeded at slashing the Indian programs and worsening the lives of Indian people. "

Get the Story:
Suzan Shown Harjo: Trustee 'taking care of' Indians (Indian Country Today 8/18)

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