Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Cobell | Opinion
Elouise Cobell: Sen. Barrasso wrong about trust fund settlement


"A lot has happened since 1887 when Sen. Henry Dawes of Massachusetts got Congress to pass a law to break up Indian lands across the country.

Congress then did not believe Indians could manage their lands or their money, leading to creation of the infamous Indian Trust system.

It was a failure from the day it began operation 123 years ago.

But one lawmaker from Wyoming hasn't got the word that Indians can do a better job of managing their lands and government than Uncle Sam.

I'm talking about Sen. John Barrasso. He wants to kill the settlement of our 14-year lawsuit over the government's mismanagement of our lands and our money.

The trouble is he doesn't trust the nation's Native Americans any more than Sen. Dawes.

We have traveled across Indian Country and we have found that Indians overwhelmingly want our settlement with the government approved -- as is.

Sen. Barrasso seems determined to limit the Indian's lawyers to less than what lawyers in any other class action lawsuit would be allowed for resolving the monumental mess that the Indian Trust has become."

Get the Story:
Elouise Cobell: Indians have it right (The Casper Star-Tribune 7/5)

Also Today:
Bill including Indian money gets boost but faces obstacle (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 7/3)
Indian Settlement Attached to War-Funding Bill; Still Waiting for Senate Approval (KFBB-TV 7/2)

Cobell Settlement Documents:
Agreement | Press Release | Q&A | Audio

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