A plaintiff in an ongoing Indian trust case expresses frustration with the new administration’s handling of the case.
Wired PR News – The current administration’s handling of an ongoing case against the United States government has hit a raw nerve with several involved. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the lead plaintiff in a 12 year-old Indian trust suit brought against the federal government expressed frustration this week regarding comments made by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on bringing the case to a close.
Salazar is quoted as stating that a ruling by the appellate court “may create the framework for us to move forward with some kind of final resolution of the litigation.” Plaintiff Elouise Cobell regarded the statement as insulting, having been quoted in the AP report as stating, “Let’s talk settlement, serious settlement… I don’t want words that say ‘let’s resolve it… I don’t want us Indian people to be ignored anymore.”
The class action lawsuit alleges that the government swindled Indian individuals out of billions of dollars in royalties from oil, timber, and other items. A district court ruling last year stated the plaintiffs were owed $455 million, a small portion of the $47 billion in damages they are seeking.