Editorial: Approve settlement to Cobell trust case
"If members of Congress take the time to examine the history of the Native trust system, they won't have to think twice about approving the proposed $3 billion settlement in a long-running lawsuit over the way it was managed for more than a century.

The sordid history of the trust was laid out in the series "Broken Trust" by Jodi Rave Lee in the Journal Star in 2002.

As the editorial board said then, "One only needs a faint streak of cynicism to suspect the system was designed to create a swindler's paradise."

The system was fashioned in 1887 under the Dawes Act. It broke up reservations and assigned parcels to individual citizens. The government, however, continued to hold the land in trust, leasing it to oil and gas companies, miners and loggers.

The government began losing track of the accounts almost immediately. As generations passed, the land was broken into smaller and smaller pieces until the standing joke among the tribal members was that they had just enough land to stand on."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Congress should agree on settlement (The Lincoln Journal Star 12/12)

Relevant Documents:
Agreement | Press Release | Q&A | Audio

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