Elouise Cobell, the lead plaintiff in the Indian trust fund lawsuit, blasted the National Museum of the American Indian for hiring former assistant secretary Kevin Gover.
Cobell is a trustee for NMAI. She said she wasn't consulted about the hiring of Gover, who was held in contempt of court for failing to produce Indian trust records of the named plaintiffs.
"What this means is that the Smithsonian has hired someone to head this important museum who has literally thumbed his nose at Indian people -- some of the poorest people in the nation," Cobell said. "His guilt in this case, along with that of his boss, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, was never challenged by the government."
Gover ran the Bureau of Indian Affairs during the last three years of the Clinton administration. In an August 2000 interview with Indian Country Today, he repeatedly bragged
that the government "whipped" the Cobell plaintiffs in court and on Capitol Hill.
He made those comments after apologizing for the BIA's mistreatment of Indian peoples.
Get the Story:
Press Release: AMERICAN INDIAN MUSEUM TRUSTEE EXPRESSES OUTRAGE AT GOVER HIRING
National Museum of the American Indian - http://www.nmai.si.edu
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne - http://www.indiantrust.com
Kevin Gover to take over NMAI on December 2
(9/12) Kevin Gover named new director of NMAI