Breach of Trust

In a stunning victory, the federal judge overseeing the Cobell Trust Lawsuit has agreed with the plaintiffs that a historical accounting of the Indian land trust is “impossible,” though he cited as the reason Congress’ refusal to adequately fund the needed work. Wampum sees Tom DeLay’s fingerprints on this, an effort to prevent anyone from finding out that Big Energy, with the connivance of the Federal government, has expropriated billions of dollars worth of Indian Country. As one editorial put it, “In plain writing, the District of Columbia U.S. Court decision criticizes Interior for mismanaging more than $100 billion in oil, gas, timber and other royalties held in trust from Indian lands dating back to 1887.” Hopefully, lead plaintiff Eloise Cobell (Blackfeet) is right to, “look forward to Judge Robertson’s scheduling of a hearing ‘determining an appropriate remedy’ in light of their failure to render the court-ordered accounting.”

Published in: on February 1, 2008 at 9:42 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nice to see a judge admitting on record that the US government has royally screwed the Natives once again. Though I have to wonder how one goes about determining an “appropriate remedy” when the historical accounting is admittedly impossible? Any guesses how this will turn out? And if the government will actually abide by any judgments against it, since it’s NEVER abided by any treaty or agreement with the Natives in history?

    (I married a descendant of the Ute tribe, so I’ve gotten a basic grounding in some of the history that was NEVER taught in school.)

  2. To the government, “remedy” means money. To the tribes, it means returning the land and I don’t see the government agreeing to that. The Lakota are sitting on a 1980 judgment worth close to a $billion because they refuse to accept any compensation in lieu of getting the sacred paha sapa (Black Hills) returned to them.

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