indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Delvin Cree: Cobell brings millions to Turtle Mountain members

Filed Under: Cobell | Opinion
More on: delvin cree, elouise cobell, north dakota, tmbci
     

Elouise Cobell, the lead plaintiff of the Cobell v Salazar class action lawsuit would be a happy woman today, knowing beneficiaries in the case will finally be receiving compensation for the mismanagement of individual Indian money (IIM) accounts held in trust by the federal government.

Though payments will not be close to what beneficiaries are owed, many will accept what is being offered. A total of 350,000 beneficiaries will be compensated and will share in the $3.4 billion settlement.

A woman with extraordinary leadership, Cobell battled the government for 15 years before she passed away late last year from cancer. In a case that was filed in 1996, she fought on behalf of individual Indians who have lost royalties due to oil and gas, farming, timber and other activities on their trust lands.

A settlement in the case was announced in December 2009. A $3.4 billion dollar deal was made but opposition in Congress slowed the historical case to a halt. One concern among class members during this time frame was that many have died waiting for Cobell to be settled. As many as 12,000 beneficiaries died before seeing their share of the settlement.

A year later, in December 2010, Congress finally approved the settlement. As the case moved forward through court proceedings a few appeals would be filed by beneficiaries, bringing the settlement to another standing point. The individual appeals would later be thrown out and the case continued to move towards distribution. After the many hurdles in the case, a judge recently ordered payments to 350,000 beneficiaries.

According to the Cobell web site, the settlement will include payouts to two groups of class members:
1) Historical Accounting Class members - Had an open individual Indian money account (IIM) anytime between Oct. 25, 1994 and Sept. 30, 2009.
2) Trust Administration Class members - Had an IIM account recorded in currently available data in federal government systems anytime from approximately 1985 to Sept 30, 2009.

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
As the Cobell settlement moves ahead, members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa have been waiting eagerly as it inches toward the distribution process. Many have interest on fractionated allotments in the state of Montana, northern South Dakota and other areas across North Dakota.

According to David Smith, a member of the Cobell legal team, 350,000 beneficiaries will share in the Cobell Settlement. Of that, 15,441 Turtle Mountain tribal members will benefit from the $1,000 Historical Accounting Class payment with a dollar amount totaling $15.441 million.

The Trust Administration Class payment which will come at a later date. That payment will be paid out to 25,421 from Turtle Mountain. Beneficiaries in the Trust Administration Class will be paid $800 -- plus a share of the balance of settlement funds based on the activity on their trust lands. The total amount is estimated to be around $26.8 million.

Smith also stated there are Historical Accounting Class members whose "whereabouts are unknown and have no contact information. The Cobell web site noted that 40,000 are shown as "whereabouts unknown" and another 10,000 have no contact information in records furnished by the Department of the Interior.

In further information provided by Smith, he said it was important for beneficiaries of the Historical Accounting Class who are not receiving statements on their IIM account to file a Claim before March 1, 2013, a deadline set by the court.

More information is available by calling 2 toll free numbers. 1-800-961-6109 or 1-866-383-6554 or going to the Cobell site www.indiantrust.com. The mailing address is:

Indian Trust Settlement
P.O. Box 9577
Dublin, OH 43017-4877

Delvin Cree is a freelance journalist. He is a daily contributor to indianz.com and Indian Country Today Media Network, both national news sources for Indian Country.


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Apology offered to girls who were forced to change Navajo hairstyle (2/5)
Mark Trahant: Bernie Sanders campaign starts Indian policy group (2/5)
Charles Trimble: Taking responsibility for upkeep of our cemeteries (2/5)
Mary Annette Pember: Memorial to Indian genocide eyed in Russia (2/5)
Terese Marie Mailhot: I guess I'm just one of those 'crazy' Indians (2/5)
Judge weighs compromise for $380M in leftover Keepseagle funds (2/5)
Blackfeet Nation welcomes movement on water rights settlement (2/5)
Yakama Nation wins decision on cost of cleaning up contamination (2/5)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe confident of casino bid despite lawsuit (2/5)
Arizona sees 6.9 percent boost in gaming contributions from tribes (2/5)
Cowlitz Tribe close to reaching agreement with city for new casino (2/5)
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation questions exclusion from casino process (2/5)
Tribal leaders question management changes at IHS in Great Plains (2/4)
IHS chief medical officer apologizes for comments about newborns (2/4)
Group sues IHS for records about water pollution on Yakama Nation (2/4)
Sen. McCain still bothered by failure to block Arizona tribe's casino (2/4)
Gun Lake Tribe announces retirement of longtime chair DK Sprague (2/4)
House Natural Resources Committee passes Indian bills at markup (2/4)
Samuel Winder: Indian defendants face harsher criminal penalties (2/4)
Charles Kader: Tribal burial grounds in Florida are being desecrated (2/4)
Roger Chelsey: Pamunkey Tribe clears last hurdle for federal status (2/4)
Reno Sparks Indian Colony mourns passing of leader William Coffey (2/4)
Native students convince school to name Indigenous People's Day (2/4)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe supports move to Indigenous People's Day (2/4)
Coquille Tribe donates $100K to help college with health programs (2/4)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes help inmates reintegrate (2/4)
Little River Band hails BIA movement on off-reservation casino bid (2/4)
Lac Vieux Desert Band reopens hotel after disease scare at casino (2/4)
Eastern Cherokee council revives plan for bowling alley at casino (2/4)
Mark Trahant: Self-determination should be on table for campaign (2/3)
Bernie Sanders won Democratic precinct on Meskwaki Reservation (2/3)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee passes two water bills at meeting (2/3)
House committee approves Lytton Band bill with casino limitation (2/3)
Wounded Warriors Family Support reaches out to tribal veterans (2/3)
James Giago Davies: Only one candidate can help Indian Country (2/3)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation creates opportunity with casino (2/3)
Laura Waterman Wittstock: Horrors at facility for 'insane' Indians (2/3)
Tim Evans: Menominee Nation loses contract support costs case (2/3)
Indian Health Service makes changes ahead of big SCIA hearing (2/3)
Native man from Canada charged over death of eagle in Nevada (2/3)
Choctaw Nation plans work on $219M headquarters next month (2/3)
Federal judge dismisses Freedmen historical accounting lawsuit (2/3)
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians see turnaround at golf course (2/3)
4th Circuit won't recognize tribal authority in online lending case (2/3)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.