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Cobell | Opinion
Editorial: Welcome settlement to Cobell trust case

"The announcement Tuesday that the federal government has agreed to settle a 13-year-old lawsuit over the handling of millions of acres of American Indians’ trust lands is welcome news, even though the price tag is $3.4 billion.

The lawsuit, which has been appealed and re-appealed numerous times, began during the Clinton administration. But the mismanagement at the heart of the lawsuit is thoroughly bipartisan and began more than a century ago. It provides one more glaring example of this nation’s repeated failures to fulfill promises made to the original inhabitants of this continent.

In this case, the Department of Interior failed in its duty to keep track of income from grazing, logging and mineral development derived from trust lands on numerous Indian reservations, including those in Colorado and Utah. The department lost millions of records that documented how much income came from those activities and what happened to the money. And it underpaid or failed to make payments to at least 300,000 American Indians as a result."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Fulfilling a trust (The Grand Junction Sentinel 12/10)

Relevant Documents:
Agreement | Press Release | Q&A | Audio

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