Cobell v. Salazar (aka Cobell v Norton) is the most important “unsettled” settlement ever brought to Congress in the past few decades. It was claimed by various tribes in a lawsuit that the United States stole as much as 179 billion from Native American Trust Funds and individual IIM Accounts over the past century. The suit dragged on for 12 years. The Obama administration finally settled at 4.3 billion, (a pitiful sum but better than Bush’s offer of 39 million) about half of which would go to the 100 tribes in the law suit. Yes, quite a discount but regardless, it is now being held up by Republicans in the Senate and apparently the President and his top administrative spokespersons seem to not even be familiar with the case.
As a Native American who has closely followed the case; who has a personal stake in it; who believes the constant graft of monies from the most marginalized of all American citizens is deplorable; and who has supported this administration-I am very disappointed. For more information on the story see Indian Country Today: