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
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
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:
Effort builds for missing and murdered Native women and girls (6/29)
Native talent among diverse group asked to join film academy (6/29)
Richard Peterson: New era of tribal-state cooperation in Alaska (6/29)
Mark Trahant: A Native champion on the ballot in South Dakota (6/29)
Lakota Country Times: Outdoor movies a success at Pine Ridge (6/29)
Delphine Red Shirt: American history ignores tribal perspective (6/29)
Gabe Galanda: The growing chorus against tribal disenrollment (6/29)
Woman from Crow Tribe dies after brutal attack on reservation (6/29)
Man charged with murdering girlfriend on Fort Peck Reservation (6/29)
Nooksack Tribe fires elder who spoke out against disenrollment (6/29)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe gets ready for 95th annual powwow (6/29)
Citizen Potawatomi Nation members serve on city commission (6/29)
A Tribe Called Red goes to Alaska next month for Native benefit (6/29)
Sorry but DNA tests cannot confirm a person's Native ancestry (6/29)
Church denies connection to vandalism at Otomi site in Mexico (6/29)
Former Choctaw Nation casino worker gets two months for theft (6/29)
Tohono O'odham Nation shares $1.2M from controversial casino (6/29)
Grande Ronde Tribes consider hotel but not a casino at old track (6/29)
Meskwaki Tribe looks for fugitive reportedly seen at casino hotel (6/29)
Supreme Court puts an end to another tribal jurisdiction dispute (6/28)
Native women hail Supreme Court decision on domestic violence (6/28)
Navajo Nation leaders reflect on historic Supreme Court session (6/28)
Lakota Country Times: Runners take 500-mile Black Hills journey (6/28)
Mark Trahant: Navajo Republican drops out of race for Congress (6/28)
Brandon Ecoffey: Oglala Sioux Tribe must update its constitution (6/28)
Editorial: Lakota treaty council supported work at Wounded Knee (6/28)
Alex Jacobs: Our elected leaders do little to address gun violence (6/28)
St. Croix Chippewa Tribe ousts 10 people from rolls amid debate (6/28)
Film exposes police harassment of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (6/28)
Northern Arapaho Tribe asserts more control over health system (6/28)
Trump rehashes 'Pocahontas' slur as Warren hits road for Clinton (6/28)
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation still fighting for recognition and casino (6/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino foes lose big source of funding (6/28)
Big Sandy Rancheria remains optimistic on plan for second casino (6/28)
Little River Band credited with sharing $30.4M in casino revenues (6/28)
Editorial: Let's leave gaming to tribes and kill Arkansas casino bid (6/28)
Supreme Court deals setback to tribes in labor sovereignty dispute (6/27)
Washington tribes win major fishing rights decision at appeals court (6/27)
Shinnecock Nation hits the end of the line with ancestral land claim (6/27)
Supreme Court won't hear Pauma Band compact negotiation case (6/27)
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on 3 bills (6/27)
Lakota Country Times: Teams compete for Indian horse relay title (6/27)
Native Sun News: Rebuilding the Lakota Nation through education (6/27)
Vi Waln: Don't be afraid to come pray with your Lakota relatives (6/27)
Clara Caufield: Out fishing on the Upper Boulder River in Montana (6/27)
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.