December 08, 2010

Obama signs Cobell settlement

Obama signs historic Cobell settlement

By Rob CapricciosoPresident Barack Obama signed the $3.4 billion Cobell settlement into law Dec. 8, signaling the end of one approval process necessary to get money into the hands of Indian class members. The ball now goes to the overseeing court, which is charged with ensuring the settlement is fair.

In a White House ceremony, the president signed off on Congress’ approval of a settlement to the long-running Cobell v. Salazar Indian trust fund lawsuit. The case was first filed in 1996, and went through numerous court proceedings until last December when the Obama administration announced a deal with Indian plaintiffs.
And:Still, there are many in Indian country who do not see the terms as “a good deal for all.” Much of the concern centers on money, as many class members are expected to receive less than $2,000 under the plan, which designates a total of $1.5 billion for hundreds of thousands of class members to divide.

The plaintiffs had at times argued for a much larger financial settlement, but the leaders of the Cobell team decided that the terms involved in the Obama administration’s offer were the best that could be accomplished without continuing to fight for possibly many more years.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Obama's and Cobell's Odd Behavior and Cobell Skit in Saturday Night Live.

1 comment:

Burt said...

This is absurd. 3.4 billion is insulting compared to actual profits and real values natives collectively have lost due to corruption, incompetence and outright theft of resources in agriculture; timber; oil & gas; coal; water use; land use; uranium and mineral rights energy companies; government agencies and American citizens have reaped off of the indigenous peoples of this continent.

Americans sure come cheap when it comes to paying, but then feel obliged to hold natives to the letter of the law when it comes time to collect.