Gover defends record after criticism from Cobell

Kevin Gover, the incoming director of the National Museum of the American Indian, defended his handling of the Indian trust after criticism from Elouise Cobell, the lead plaintiff in the trust case.

As head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs during the last three years of the Clinton administration, Gover was held in contempt of court for failing to produce trust records. He was in charge when the government was ordered to conduct a historical accounting of the trust

In his final days, Gover approved a statistical sampling of the trust despite widespread opposition from account holders. But he never started the accounting project even as the Clinton administration denied it had a duty to conduct the accounting.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals eventually upheld the accounting but the ruling came down after Gover left office.

Gover did take credit for starting the Trust Asset and Accounting Management System in an infamous press release that proclaimed "TAAMS WORKS." But the system did not work, according to court reports and Interior Department officials.

"My bona fides and my commitment to the advancement of Indian Country doesn't require a defense," Gover told Gannett News Service. "I've spent a whole career doing that and will continue doing that."

Get the Story:
New Indian museum director pick criticized (Gannett News Service 9/13)

Relevant Links:
National Museum of the American Indian -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne -

Related Stories:
Cobell blasts Gover's appointment to NMAI (9/12)
Kevin Gover to take over NMAI on December 2 (9/12)
Kevin Gover named new director of NMAI (9/11)