Cobell: Justice for Indian Country
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"When I was a girl, the grownups on our reservation, the Blackfeet Indian Nation in Montana, complained about their troubles with the individual Indian trust. It was a mess.

Royalties for allowing oil and gas, grazing and logging on Indian-owned lands were collected by the Interior Department. The funds were held by the Treasury Department, and then they were supposed to be paid to the individual Indian trust beneficiaries, including my parents. It had been that way since the 1880s.

But the payments were erratic – $1 one time, $150 the next, or sometimes nothing – and no one knew what the amounts were based on. The Bureau of Indian Affairs agent had no explanation. Money was scarce on the reservation, but you were more likely to find a $100 bill on the street than get a straight answer about the trust. . ."

Get the Story:
Guest Opinion: Justice near for Native Americans (Elouise Cobell. The Billings Gazette 12/23)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -

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