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President Obama Remembers Elouise Cobell

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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:00 PM
Original message
President Obama Remembers Elouise Cobell
By Barack Obama, President of the United States of America



October 27, 2011

With the passing of Elouise Cobell, a proud member of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana, we have lost a champion of Native American rights. Her persistent and determined leadership in the pursuit of justice for Native Americans will leave an enduring legacy.

As treasurer of the Blackfeet Nation, Elouise spoke out when she saw that the federal government had failed to account for billions of dollars that it owed to hundreds of thousands of her fellow Native Americans. In 1996, she filed suit, and for 15 years, tirelessly led a legal battle, with seven trials, 10 appeals, and dozens of published decisions. She fought her battle not just in the courts, but in the halls of Congress before finally securing justice for more than 300,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives in the form of a $3.4 billion settlement.

The agreement reached in Cobell v. Salazar marked the largest government class-action settlement in our nations history. The scholarship fund this settlement established will give more Native Americans access to higher education. Tribes will have more control over their own lands. Elouises tireless efforts strengthened the government-to-government relationship with Indian country, and a generation of Native Americans and all Americans has seen the promise of justice realized.

Last December, I had the privilege to meet with Elouise in the Oval Office prior to signing into law a bill to make things right. The Claims Resolution Act of 2010 is a direct result of the settlement that bears her name. It is proof of an enduring American idea that change is always possible.

But change is never easy. It doesnt come overnight. In this case, it took 15 years. For 15 long years, despite obstacles and setbacks, Elouise Cobell pressed on with a defiant yet humble refusal to accept the world as it is, and a quiet determination to reach for the world as it ought to be.

I never started this case with any intentions of being a hero, she said. I just wanted this case to give justice to people that didnt have it.

In the face of daunting odds, Elouise remained driven by the belief that America is a place where tomorrow can be better than today and convinced that this is a country where hard work and great resolve can make a difference.

That is what makes this country special. Even when we havent always lived up to our highest ideals, we know we can right a wrong; even if we enjoy certain rights, we know are not truly equal until everybody enjoys those rights; even if we are doing well, we know we have a responsibility to leave a better future for our children, and the obligation to try.

That is what Elouise Cobell did. We mourn her passing, thank her for the legacy she left behind, and commit ourselves to that same passionate pursuit of a more perfect union.


read: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. kick
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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:32 PM
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2. ...
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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. This article has not yet been posted on the WH Blog (or else was already removed)
Are you (bigtree) the author?

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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
4. What is up with this post?
Edited on Sat Oct-29-11 12:35 AM by PufPuf23
There are articles about Ms. Cobell on the WH website but this picture and article (neither on WH website) were just about the first item I read this morning.

The Cobell vs Salazar decision is the sealing wax on the economic genocide of American Indians, sold out by their own current leadership and the Obama WH and the history of the Feds, primarily BIA.. The settlement was less than two cents on the dollar of the economic damage caused by land and natural resource management by the BIA. Individual Tribes were defrauded via the BIA and Dawes Act more than the settlement for the entire USA.

For the Obama Administration to claim Salazar vs Cobell a fair or "win" for American Indians is barf inducing in hypocrisy and short term thinking by Tribal leaders.

I mean no insult to Ms. Cobell or Indians in general.

Why did this post never show up on the WH website?

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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. See link in comment #6. n/t
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
5. Here's the WH statement from October 17th

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 17, 2011
Statement by the President on the Passing of Elouise Cobell

Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Elouise Cobell yesterday. Elouise spoke out when she saw that the Interior Department had failed to account for billions of dollars that they were supposed to collect on behalf of more than 300,000 of her fellow Native Americans. Because she did, I was able to sign into law a piece of legislation that finally provided a measure of justice to those who were affected. That law also creates a scholarship fund to give more Native Americans access to higher education, and give tribes more control over their own lands. Elouise helped to strengthen the government to government relationship with Indian Country, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, and all those who mourn her passing.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/17/s...



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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I found this post;Spent more than an hour today searching the WH website.
The OP was dated Oct 27, 2011 and the specific article and picture has not shown up on the WH blog nor website.

You were very quick with your response.

To think that or not understand the implications regarding American Indian past economic and cultural genocide by the BIA is the height of hypocricy or stupid or deliberation by those that have historically harmed the American Indian. There is not any argument for anyone that is knowledgable and not biased to support the terms of Cobell vs Salazar. To repeat, individual Tribes were harmed by BIA mismangement and implementation of the Dawes Act more than the settlement for the entire USA and most registered members of Native American Tribes will not benefit or will receive little benefit from the much hyped settlement.

Thank you for your prompt attention.
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 12:51 AM
Response to Original message
6. HERE is a link to the text in the OP
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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. The OP and picture was never at the WH Blog
as stated in the OP and I noted.

Please argue about how the settlment of Salazar vs Cobell is a "win" for American Indians bresides an Obama photo Op and ego of Tribal leaders that are ignorant but will go for the cash on their watch at the cost and exclusion of the interests of sovereign Indian People.

The settlement is the sealing wax on American Indian claims against BIA mismanagment and sale under the Dawes Act of Indian Trust lands for "generously" less than 2 cents on the dollar. The lawsuits started a decade before Cobell and some were wrapped into the largest class action suit in the history of the USA.

Here is wiki on Dawes Act:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes_Act

Google Cobell vs Salazar. The issue was a long term festering thorn. Claims (that in my informed opinion) of $187 Billion in Wiki were underestimated were settled for less than 2 cents on the dollar.
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