Editorial: Lawyers the true beneficiaries in Indian settlements

"The way I see it Elouise Cobell’s intentions were that of receiving what was owed. Is this truly the case in this case, with the lawyers pocketing large sums of cash?

The Cobell case sued the U.S. Department of the Interior for alleged mismanagement of some 56 million acres of Indian lands, most located in the western portion of the United States.

It all started with the Dawes Act of 1887, when land was allotted in trust to individual Native Americans to support there families through farming and ranching. With the Bureau of Indian Affairs acting as the trustee of said funds, and of course appointed by the U.S. Government.

Fact is no Native American’s had the potential to become successful farmers or ranchers, with little or no ability to secure any type of funding to begin the process. Not mentioning the fact the vast parcels of the land in question is unsuitable for farming and for ranching, the acre per animal unit is in such wide disparity compared to that of choice grounds for farming and ranching, even those that could get any funds to establish such an operation did so with an extremely small percentage of probable success.

Money was tight if even available, and so were resources."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Cobell Attorneys and Keepseagle Attorneys - The Real Beneficiaries (The Teton Times 2/24)

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Elouise Cobell to visit Navajo Nation to talk about $3.4B settlement (2/4)
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Cobell attorneys detail request for $223M fees for 14 years of work (2/2)

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