Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | Opinion

S.E. Ruckman: Delay in Cobell settlement hits Indian Country

S.E. Ruckman discusses the delay in the second round of payments from the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement:
It was bound to come down to this, is the way I look at things. The recently announced delay of monies from the Cobell Indian Trust Settlement felt as natural as rain. In the broadest terms, the sheer calculation of recipients, either living or dead, was way off since the $3.4 billion landmark decision was set in 2010.

That is to say, preliminary calculations on just who was going to receive monies seem to be based on vastly inaccurate and incomplete information. I cringe at the thought. If it were not so, then the pro rata distribution (second round of payouts) would have flowed into Native hands before the first quarter of 2014.

It must be for the sake of nostalgia that American Indians are once again involved in a waiting game with the federal government over things that are administrated to them by straight-faced officials. A logical evolution is in order, I offer. An alternative thought is similarly disconcerting: If recipient estimates were so weak, then how much so were the calculations on the final settlement sum?

Nevertheless, across actual Indian Country, the reverberations cut deep. The holidays approacheth and many who had been earlier notified of their pro-rata payment suddenly had to scramble for their yuletide funds. And woe to those who actually believed what they had been told.

Get the Story:
S.E. Ruckman: Cobell funds delay cuts deep (The Native American Times 12/12)

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