Editor’s Note: I have written several articles about this issue. It was a bad deal and now it’s starting to become apparent. Indians got placed into a bad deal. The final deal was the worst deal that could have been made. Now everyone has to live with it.
At the most recent Native American conference of the Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform, held in April in Nashville, among the many issues raised was that of the Cobell settlement of 100 years-plus of Indian trust assets.This class-action settlement of the claims of tens of thousands of American Indians, many of whom are resident Tennesseans, is just another farce committed against the most economically disadvantaged people in the U.S.This past December, $1,000 checks were sent to thousands of Native American accountholders for money of which they were defrauded for more than 100 years. This was a token payment to represent royalties — for oil, timber, grazing, etc. — that should have been paid by the Department of Interior since 1887. The settlement, forced on Indian plaintiffs, was for $3.4 billion.