Statement by Rep. Rahall on Cobell Settlement
Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-West Virginia), the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, today released the following statement commending the Obama Administration's announcement of a long-awaited settlement to the Cobell class-action lawsuit regarding the mismanagement of three hundred thousand individual American Indian trust accounts.

"Today marks the closure of a contentious court battle spanning over 13 years concerning the manner in which Indian trust funds were shamefully managed by the U.S. government. I commend President Obama for fulfilling his promise to bring closure to the matter, as well as Attorney General Holder and Interior Secretary Salazar, who have shown that this is a new day for strengthening relations with American Indian citizens. This agreement will not only make amends to the thousands of Indian account holders whose monies were mismanaged in the past, but it brings needed resources to address fractionated Indian lands.

"All of Indian Country owes a large debt of gratitude to Elouise Cobell, who has dedicated over a decade of her life to fight this battle. She has been a stalwart advocate, who never wavered in her pursuit to collect what was duly owed to affected tribal communities, despite unfair attacks and pressure to end her quest over the years. Today, the hard-fought efforts of Elouise and all of Indian Country have been vindicated."