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Cobell | Opinion
Editorial: A long overdue settlement to Cobell suit


"It’s long overdue, but it appears that finally a agreement has been reached to settle a lawsuit on behalf of Native Americans that was led by Blackfeet tribal member Elouise Cobell.

The lawsuit charged that the government had swindled billions of dollars in oil, gas, mineral and grazing royalties over decades. The case dragged on for years, but last year a federal judge ruled that Indian plaintiffs are entitled to $455 million, a fraction of the amount the tribes claimed to be owed. Not surprisingly, the plaintiffs decided to press the case ahead to the next level.

And that led to the settlement announced by the Obama administration this week, one worth more than $3 billion for the plaintiffs if approved by Congress and the courts. A settlement generally requires that opposing sides in a dispute are satisfied and that appears to be the case.

“Today is a monumental day for all of the people who have waited so long for justice,” Cobell said at a news conference in Washington, D.C., with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Attorney General Eric Holder and other officials.

It may not be an ideal solution for either side, but that’s why they call it a compromise."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Trust-fund settlement overdue (The Kalispel Daily Interlake 12/11)

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

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