Navajo allottees plan another trust lawsuit

Navajo landowners in the Four Corrners are planning another trust lawsuit against the federal government.

Shi Shi Keyah previously sued on behalf of 8,000 Navajo landowners. The settlement resulted in the creation of the Farmington Indian Minerals Office, a special office designed as one-stop center for Navajo beneficiaries.

Ervin Chavez, the president of the association, said the second lawsuit will determine whether landowners are being adequately compensated for rights-of-way. A court monitor in the Cobell case found that individual Navajos were receiving far less than non-Indians and even the Navajo Nation for use or their land.

Chavez also criticized the Office of Special Trustee's efforts to find "whereabouts unknown" account holders. At one point, he was on the list even though he is a prominent public figure.

"If they were serious, they'd hire someone to find these people," Chavez told The Navajo Times. "It's not that hard."

The WAU list has more than 70,000 people who are owed more than $70 million, according a report the Interior Department filed in court. Navajo beneficiaries are owed more than $2 million of that money.

Get the Story:
Allottee: Feds doing little to help gain trust money (The Navajo Times 8/23)

Quarterly Reports:
30th | 29th

Historical Accounting :
2007 Historical Accounting Plan (May 2007) | Report to Congress (May 2007)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne -
Office of Special Trustee -
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice -

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