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Indian Country

The Individual Money Trust Fund Litigation: Cobell v. Salazar

Today’s statement from Elouise Cobell, via the IndianTrust mailing list:

BROWNING, Mont., Feb. 13 — Elousie Cobell, the lead plaintiff in the 13-year-old class action lawsuit over the federal government’s mismanagement of Individual Indian Trust accounts, said today she was pleased that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has stated the Obama administration will try to settle the litigation.

In testimony before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Thursday, Salazar said he “will try to bring” the case “to conclusion.”

The secretary also said he was aware that two previous Interior secretaries had been held in civil contempt in the case.

Ms. Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, said that the more than 500,000 Indians covered by the lawsuit want to see the case resolved properly.

“We are happy that the Obama administration appears to be taking a positive view toward resolving our case,” Ms. Cobell said.

“The Secretary must understand that the Cobell litigation cannot be settled unless such settlement is fair, equitable, and in accordance with trust law.”

For background on the Individual Indian Money Trust Fund litigation, see The Trust Fund Litigations on the menu above.

AJA