Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Cobell | Opinion
Letter: Indian Country shortchanged in Cobell


"I appreciated the article on the lawsuit that Native Americans had filed against the U.S. government and the news that a federal judge ruled that the government owes Native Americans millions of dollars for profits made from lands the government held in trust.

The decision, however, will be a disappointment to native peoples and their supporters who argue that the first Americans are owed a good deal more -- $47 billion, a figure that was already negotiated down from the original U.S. government estimate that its potential liability was more than $200 billion.

By ruling that the government can return a drastically reduced amount of money to Native Americans, the courts have allowed the government to profit from the mismanagement of these trust accounts. This is appalling. If your bank claimed to be collecting money for you, paid you some of it, but said it couldn't tell you whether the count was accurate, what would you do?"

Get the Story:
Ruth Flower: A Ruling Shortchanges Native Americans (The Washington Post 8/17)
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Court Decision:
Cobell v. Kempthorne (August 7, 2008)

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Editorial: Settle the Indian trust fund lawsuit (2/4)
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Cobell: 'Great day in Indian Country' (1/31)
Judge: Cobell historical accounting 'impossible' (1/30)
Cobell statement on historical accounting decision (1/30)
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