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Cobell | Opinion
Bill Martin: No rubber stamp for trust fund settlement


"f you are anything like me, you breathed a sigh of relief when the news broke last month that the Cobell case had been settled.

I suspect virtually everyone in Indian country welcomed the prospect of a Cobell settlement because for more than 15 years this lawsuit has diverted so much federal appropriations and attention away from other pressing needs in Indian country.

Indeed, the initial press statements by U.S. government officials and Elouise Cobell made it sound like the lion and lamb had laid down together in green pastures.

But then I read the actual settlement agreement that the U.S. government and Cobell are asking the Congress to quickly approve, and I did not recognize it. I vigorously object to several of its key terms. I have urged our Alaska senators to scrutinize the proposed settlement and insist that the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and Congress not simply rubber stamp this deal. Unless it is changed, this settlement is not in the interest of most American Indians and trust beneficiaries. In fact, it is very unfair to most of us."

Get the Story:
Bill Martin: Congress should study Cobell settlement before approving it (Indian Country Today 1/26)

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

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