The following is a press release from Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Nation of
Montana who is the lead plaintiff in the Indian trust fund
For Elouise Cobell, lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit over the federal government's mismanagement of the Indian Trust, President Obama's signing of legislation approving the settlement of the dispute sends an historic message to Indian Country.
"After 123 years of living with what Congress once called the ‘Broken Trust,’ people throughout Indian Country will see Wednesday as a monumental day," said Ms. Cobell, a member of Montana's Blackfeet Nation and a banker.
"On Wednesday the nation's political leaders placed their seal of approval on the settlement of our fight in the courts," she said. "The successful enactment of The Claims Resolution Act of 2010 confirms that both Congress and the executive branch believe that our settlement is fair and proper – a good deal for all," she said.
The long-running Cobell case involves the theft and mismanagement of the trust assets of individual Indians by the government. It has been fiercely litigated through the courts with more than 3,600 filings in the district court alone, as well as 80 published judicial opinions, she said.
Cobell also voiced appreciation for the support the President and members of Congress have showed for resolving the Indian Trust dispute. "I would like to thank our many advocates in Congress and the Administration," she said. "Without them, enactment of the settlement would not have been possible."