Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

WPR: Lac du Flambeau chair hopes BIA improves trust system





"A federal judge has finalized a $3.4 billion settlement in a case filed against the U.S. government nearly 16 years ago, which eventually grew to represent thousands of Native Americans across the country.

Tom Maulson is chair of Wisconsin's Lac du Flambeau tribe. Back in 1996, he joined lead plaintiff Eloise Cobell and four others in taking the federal government to court, a case known as Cobell v. Salazar. They claimed that for centuries, the government had squandered, mishandled, or cheated billions of dollars in royalties owed Native Americans, for timber, land, oil, and grazing leases. Maulson says a lot of his ire was pointed at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"The sad thing that made me sign on as a plaintiff, was the fact that that Bureau was lacking their fiduciary responsibility to Indian people across this country, and that was to keep proper record of procedures. And that never has really been done. I believe that the Bureau's working hard at making that happen now. And I'm hoping that they have a better working system than they had 16 years ago," Maulson said."

Get the Story:
Long-standing Native American lawsuit settled [see middle of page] (Wisconsin Public Radio 6/24)

Related Stories:
Ben Carnes: Cobell settlement a knife in Indian people's backs (6/22)
Blog: Crime of the century with Indian trust fund management (6/22)
Judge approves $3.4B settlement in Cobell trust fund lawsuit (6/21)
Schedule for fairness hearing for Cobell trust fund settlement (6/20)
Quapaw Tribe tries to opt out of Cobell trust fund settlement (6/20)
Judge to hold fairness hearing for Cobell trust fund settlement (6/17)
Jerilyn DeCoteau: Cobell settlement just doesn't feel right (6/6)
Fairness hearing in Cobell settlement scheduled for June 20 (5/26)