American Indians to be briefed on Cobell trust settlement in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana

Dennis Gingold (right), lawyer in Cobell v. Salazar

The Indian Land Tenure Foundation “Lessons of our Land” speaker series presents Elouise Cobell as the fifth speaker on March 23. Read the ILTF speaker series flier for more details. Also, here is a University of Montana press release about the final two speakers, Cobell and Julie Cajune. Meanwhile, here is the latest news on the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 settlement.

Cobell team press release on March 16:

Information on how Native Americans in four Western states can share in the recently approved $3.4 billion settlement of Indian Trust claims will be discussed at a series of five meetings next week.

On Monday (March 21) Keith Harper, a lawyer for the Cobell Class, and John Loving from the law firm of Kilpatrick, Townsend and Stockton will be discussing the settlement on the Ute Uintah and Ouray Reservation at the Tribal Office Auditorium, 6964 East 100 South, Fort Duchesne, Utah, at 2:30 p.m.

On Tuesday (March 22) they will be in Fort Hall, Idaho, for a meeting at the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Business Center, Dome Room, Pima Drive, at 1:30 p.m.

At 2 p.m. Wednesday (March 23) they will be at the Wind River Casino, 10269 Hwy 789, Riverton, Wyoming, for a meeting with Northern Arapaho and others.

At 11:30 a.m. on Thursday (March 24) they will be meeting with the Northern Cheyenne and others at the Charging Horse Casino, East Lame Deer Hwy 212, Lame Deer, Montana.

Later Thursday (March 24) they will be with Crow tribal members and others at the Crow Public School Cafeteria, 101 Makata St., Crow Agency, Montana, for a 3:30 p.m. meeting.

Native Americans whose families have individual Indian money trust accounts or who own individual Indian trust land are welcome to attend the meetings, regardless of their tribal affiliations, and ask questions about the settlement.

In December President Obama signed legislation ending the 15-year-old class action lawsuit that Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Nation from Montana, and other Native Americans filed against the government in 1996.

The settlement acknowledges that the federal government mismanaged individual Indians’ trust accounts.

Under the settlement, the federal government is creating create a $1.5 billion Accounting/Trust Administration Fund and a $1.9 billion Trust Land Consolidation Fund. The settlement also creates an Indian Education Scholarship fund of up to $60 million to improve access to higher education for Indians.

“The settlement represents a hard-won victory for individual Indians,” Ms. Cobell has said.  “Our hope is that these meetings and a public awareness campaign we are conducting will get hundreds of thousands of Native Americans to apply for these funds. It has always been their money and I am delighted we can finally return some of it to them.”

“The settlement not only rights a tremendous wrong to Indian Country, but it will be a significant help to many Indians,” Ms. Cobell has said.


Note to News Media: Harper and Loving will be available for interviews.
For additional information
Bill McAllister
703 385-6996