Tuesday, December 08, 2009

US Gov. settles Indian Trust law suit

I started my blogging in 2004 with long running commentary on my then Congressman, Richard Pombo. The only thing that I ever praised him on was the fact that he pushed to have the Government settle the lawsuit brought by Elouise Cobell on behalf of Individual Indian beneficiaries of a Trust Fund that was supposed to be administered by the US Government.

The basis of the suit was the mismanagement of funds derived from mineral extraction on Indian lands that was supposed to be held in trust by the Dept. of the Interior. Over the years, the accounting for those funds was lost to the point where no one could ever know just how much was supposed to be in the trust nor how the monies were managed.

That case was brought during the Clinton Administration and originally designated as Cobell vs Babbitt since Bruce Babbitt was then the Sec. of the Interior. We are now on our 3rd Sec. of the Interior since Babbitt (Gail Norton, Dirk Kepmthorne and not Ken Salazar) and the case has only now been settled.

Details of the settlement are to be found here. Suffice it to say that the Native Americans received only a fraction (~$3.5 Billion) of what they were owed. (once estimated at $170 Billion).

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