Cobell Decision a Huge Disappointment

U.S. District Courthouse, District of Columbia

U.S. District Courthouse, District of Columbia

Today, Judge Robertson handed down a big decision in the longrunning Cobell class action lawsuit, awarding the 500,000 individual Indian plaintiffs just $455 million, less than one-hundreth of the amount they sought. 

Eloise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe, brought the class action lawsuit against the United States government 12 years ago seeking the return of the billions of dollars that the U.S. likely lost or mismanaged since 1887, amounts of money that were supposed to have been held in trust for Indians and their decendants.

The $455 million award pales in comparison to the $58 billion originally sought by Cobell, later lowered to $47 billion during the trial, and even the $27 billion proposed in 2005 by the National Congress of American Indians and the Inter-Tribal Monitoring Association as a legislative settlement, a proposal developed with the Cobell plaintiffs.

In June of this year, the editors of Indian Country Today called the plaintiff’s original claim “more than fair.  $58 billion is conservative, even generous when one considers how the West was really won – inhumanely, via theft and politics.”

Cobell said today that, “I am disappointed, to say the least.”

AP write up of the decision and reactions here:


5 Responses to “Cobell Decision a Huge Disappointment”

  1. The decision is a huge disappointment, but a fair amount of blame goes to Cobell and her attorneys. Cobell had a prime opportunity to settle this once and for all two years ago via Congressional legislation. Instead, she and her attorneys put their foot into their mouths and couldn’t compromise for the good. Now it looks like the real land owners will never get a fairer share of the settlement.

  2. bobbie preckwinkle Says:

    Is there any justice in this world. The ost & bia are not complying with their fedicuiary trust responsibility and congress is not protecting the individual indian with IIM acct. I have proff of my missing/mismanaged
    funds and intend to find these funds in these accounts held in trust. These accounts were transfered and have no names or acct no. They say these funds were spent by my mother. This is a lie and I again have proff.
    Then they say these accts. are government funds. This is false and I will help resolve this cobell case so that all other indians with iim accts. will get there fair settlement. This case must be appealled.
    Please refer me the attr. for this case and any contact info.

  3. Don Moccasin Says:

    I am reading about the 500,000 plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Who or where I can I the list? Or this is confidential information?

    Another concern is if and when this is settled, whose crooked hand would administer the funds if any.

  4. Luke Warm Water Says:

    I’m from Red Lake and we aren’t part of this suit. What I want to see is the US Gov’t publicly and annually denuciatate itself to the world, admit that it is evil, and give an update of how poorly they have failed to live up to the BIA’s phony mission statement during the past year. The last time I checked the US gov’t couldn’t control their own finances, witness the growing national debt, and they want Natives to trust them? That’s ABSURD!! Why would Natives trust guys who have a continuous record of sodomizing Natives. And whitey wonders why people want to kill them? I expect nothing less than hypocrisy and self-righteousness from the US gov’t and they have lived up to my expectations. This racist gov’t wants Natives exterminated and here’s more proof! They didn’t mismanage this money that money; they STOLE it!! And no one is being held accountable, so Natives have no reason to support the evil US gov’t.

  5. Says:

    Its pretty BAD when you cant even have your own LAND or property what is happening??

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