CNC: Reaction from Elouise Cobell on final passage of settlement
"Another dark chapter in the history of the federal government’s relationship with Native Americans will soon end now that the House has followed the Senate in approving a final bill to fund the $3.4 billion Indian trust settlement.

Elouise Cobell says it’s overdue. She’s the Montana rancher who sued the federal government 15 years ago over the management of Indian lands.

COBELL: “I’m pretty happy for myself plus so many Indian beneficiaries and you say a silent prayer for the ones that passed on and couldn’t enjoy this justice.”

During debate on the legislation, which also contained money to settle a discrimination suit by black farmers, some Republicans objected to the Cobell settlement’s attorney fees - up to 100 million dollars. Still, approval was swift. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

HOYER: “This was a continuing injustice that should have been addressed decades ago.”

Cobell found trust fund discrepancies as the Blackfoot Tribe treasurer and says she was surprised it took years of legal struggles to force the federal government to settle the case.

COBELL: “The government has always treated Indians sort of like they never win and sometimes native people are unaccustomed to winning. When we would have a victory in our case I would always say ‘what’s wrong with winning? We are winning!”"

Get the Story:
Congress Passes Federal Settlement With Native Americans (Capitol News Connection 11/30)

Cobell Settlement Documents:
Agreement | Press Release | Q&A | Audio

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