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Trust
Human Rights Magazine: Cobell, Native issues


The latest issue of Human Rights Magazine, a publication of the American Bar Association, focuses on the Cobell trust fund lawsuit and other Native issues.

Keith Harper, one of the Cobell attorneys, provides background and an update on the 10-year-old case. "Since the trust’s inception, the government has assumed the powers of a trustee without abiding by the concomitant responsibilities. The result has been a legacy of incompetence and abuse that is plainly intolerable and must cease. This case will right that wrong," he writes.

Ross Swimmer, the Special Trustee for American Indians, contributes an article to separate "fact" from "fiction" in the Cobell case. "Contrary to allegations that no records exist, more than 300 million pages of Indian records are preserved" at the American Indian Records Repository in Kansas, he says.

John Echohawk, the executive director of the Native American Rights Fund and co-counsel on the Cobell case, is hailed as a "Human Rights Hero." "With Echohawk at the helm, NARF’s cases and legislative successes have touched all aspects of tribal life. They range from securing federal recognition of tribal sovereignty and establishing historical rights in land and waters to helping draft and win passage of such major pieces of legislation as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and amendments to the Voting Rights Act," writes Nicholas Targ, an attorney and professor at Howard University School of Law.

Other articles talk about sacred places, sovereignty in Alaska and Indian health care. The entire Spring 2006 issue can be read here: http://www.abanet.org/irr/hr/spring06/home.html.

Get the Story:
Keith Harper: Cobell v. Norton: Redressing a Century of Malfeasance (Human Rights Magazine Spring 2006)
Ross Swimmer: Separating Fact from Fiction: The Department of the Interior and the Cobell Litigation (Human Rights Magazine Spring 2006)
Human Rights Hero: John Echohawk (Human Rights Magazine Spring 2006)

Senate Indian Affairs Committee Statement:
INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE POSTPONES CONSIDERATION OF TRUST REFORM LEGISLATION (August 2, 2006)

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

Relevant Links:
Senate Indian Affairs Committee - http://indian.senate.gov
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne - http://www.indiantrust.com
Office of Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

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