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Cobell
Jodi Rave: Cobell calls for accountability


"Elouise Cobell has spent the past 10 years of her life seeking government accountability by imploring leaders to make moral and ethical decisions, and on Wednesday she asked a University of Montana audience to join her efforts.

At times, her decadelong journey has seemed futile, she said.

Cobell filed the country's largest class-action lawsuit on behalf of a half-million Native landowners and sued the U.S. Interior Department in June of 1996. She has spent nearly 11 years watching government officials and politicians trade favors rather than acting in the public interest, she said.

“I realized, that's when we need you, everyone here in this room,” she told the noontime audience in Turner Hall, part of UM's Ethics at Noon lecture series. “The most important thing is to get ahold of members of Congress. It's important they hear from others that this is morally and ethically wrong. They have to hear it from as many people as possible.”

In nearly 11 years, she's seen plenty of wrongdoing.

Treasury Department employees have destroyed court records. Senior-level Cabinet members have been held in contempt of court. And the government has repeatedly delayed efforts to provide Native landowners with a historical accounting of money they are owed for earnings from land leases and mineral royalties."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Cobell explains ethics of lawsuit at UM (The Missoulian 4/12)

Settlement Letter:
Kempthorne-Gonzales to SCIA (March 1, 2007)

Relevant Documents:
Alberto Gonzales Testimony (March 1, 2005) | SCIA Views and Estimates (March 1, 2007)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

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