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Reply #3: For the WH and current Indian leaders to claim the settlement of Cobell vs Salazar as a "success" [View All]

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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 01:50 PM
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3. For the WH and current Indian leaders to claim the settlement of Cobell vs Salazar as a "success"
Edited on Fri Dec-02-11 01:52 PM by PufPuf23
when the settlement is nothing but short-term political expediency, willful ignorance, and a sell out of the Indian Peoples by their own current leadership.

There are individual Tribes harmed more than the settlement for the entire USA.

Cobell vs Salazar was the longest and potentially largest class action suit in the history of the USA.

The settlement is the sealing wax on American Indian genocide.

The suit limited members of the class action, ignored 100s of lawsuits of BIA mis-management prior to or excluded from Cobell, and less than 2 cents on the dollar for damages, and pays only $2 billion for 90 million acres of Indian Trust lands sold by the BIA to whites and corporations under the Dawes Act. Imagine paying $2 Billion dollars for California.

The Dawes Act, adopted by Congress in 1887, authorized the President of the United States to survey Indian tribal land and divide the land into allotments for individual Indians. The Act was named for its sponsor, Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts. The Dawes Act was amended in 1891 and again in 1906 by the Burke Act. The stated objective of the Dawes Act was to stimulate assimilation of Indians into American society. Individual ownership of land was seen as an essential step. The act also provided that the government would purchase Indian land excess to that needed for allotment and open it up for settlement by non-Indians.

The impact on Indians of the Dawes Act was negative. The act "was the culmination of American attempts to destroy tribes and their governments and to open Indian lands to settlement by non-Indians and to development by railroads."<1> Land owned by Indians decreased from 138 million acres (560,000 km2) in 1887 to 48 million acres (190,000 km2) in 1934.<2>

Cobell v. Salazar (previously Cobell v. Kempthorne and Cobell v. Norton and Cobell v. Babbitt) is a class-action lawsuit brought by Native American representatives against two departments of the United States government. The plaintiffs claim that the U.S. government has incorrectly accounted for Indian trust assets, which belong to individual Native Americans (as beneficial owners) but are managed by the Department of the Interior (as the legal owner and fiduciary trustee). The case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The original complaint asserted claims for mismanagement of the trust assets; these were subsequently disallowed since such claims could only properly be asserted in the United States Court of Federal Claims.

The case is sometimes reported as the largest class-action lawsuit against the U.S. in history, but the basis for this claim is a matter of dispute. Plaintiffs contend that the number of class members is around 500,000, while defendants maintain it is closer to 250,000. The potential liability of the U.S. government in the case is also disputed: plaintiffs have suggested a figure as high as $176 billion, and defendants have suggested a number in the low millions, at most. In 2008, the district court awarded the plaintiffs $455.6 million, which both sides have appealed. Cobell v. Kempthorne, 569 F. Supp.2d 223, 226 (D.D.C. 2008).

On July 29, 2009, the D.C. Court of Appeals vacated the award and remanded the District Court's previous decision in Cobell XXI. See, Cobell v. Salazar (Cobell XXII), 573 F.3d 808 (D.C. Cir. 2009).

On December 8, 2009, a $3.4 billion settlement was announced.<1> $1.4 billion of the settlement is allocated to plaintiffs in the suit, and up to $2 billion is allocated for re-purchase of lands distributed under the Dawes Act. President Barack Obama signed legislation authorizing government funding of a final version of the $3.4 billion settlement in December 2010, raising the possibility of resolution after fourteen years of litigation. Judge Thomas Hogan will oversee a fairness hearing on the settlement in the spring of 2011.

PS There is a frequent poster here at DU that posted an article re: Cobell vs Salazar and linked to the WH Blog that appeared at DU before being posted on the WH Blog and another frequent poster who tried to do damage control and the thread rapidly sank.

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