Letter: A small spark of justice in Cobell case

"A small spark of justice was ignited in January when Appeals Court Judge James Robertson ruled that the Interior Department "unreasonably delayed" its accounting for billions of dollars owed to Indian landholders.

The Blackfeet Nation claimed in Cobell v. Kempthorne, filed in 1996, that the government has mismanaged more than $100 billion in oil, timber and other revenues held in trust since 1887.

The judge said that a remedy must be found for this breach of fiduciary duty over the past century. It remains to be seen how fully the government complies with the court's finding.

Professor Jay Adler has called our treatment of native people our "aboriginal sin."

It may not be possible to return all their land, but we can continue the process of atonement initiated by Robertson's ruling and restore to Native Americans some greater equality of opportunity and dignity."

Get the Story:
Charles W. Acker: We should atone for our 'aboriginal sin' (The Kennebec Journal 3/29)

Plaintiffs' Filing:

Historical Accounting Decision:
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (January 30, 2008)

Trial Transcripts:
Day 1 AM | Day 1 PM | Day 2 AM | Day 2 PM | Day 3 AM | Day 3 PM | Day 4 AM | Day 4 PM | Day 5 AM | Day 5 PM | Day 6 AM | Day 6 PM | Day 7 AM | Day 7 PM | Day 8 AM | Day 8 PM | Day 9 AM | Day 9 PM | Day 10 AM | Day 10 PM

Trial Order:
Cobell v. Kempthorne (April 20,2007)

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

Related Stories:
Cobell plaintiffs say $58B owed for Indian trust (3/21)
Cobell case set for resolution in court (3/6)
Judge sets June 9 trial to resolve Cobell case (3/5)
Judge to hold Cobell hearing this Wednesday (3/3)
Next hearing in Cobell case set for March 5 (02/21)
Resolution appears near in Cobell trust case (2/19)
Editorial: Settle 'botched' Indian trust fund (02/06)
Editorial: Settle the Indian trust fund lawsuit (2/4)
Kempthorne reiterates $7B Indian trust offer (2/1)
Editorial: A remedy for 'neglect' of Indian trust (2/1)
Cobell: 'Great day in Indian Country' (1/31)
Judge: Cobell historical accounting 'impossible' (1/30)
Cobell statement on historical accounting decision (1/30)
Jim Cason: Historical accounting facts (01/18)