Archive for March 23rd, 2009
Elouise Cobell had high hopes that President Barack Obama would change the landscape of the Cobell vs. Salazar suit — all for the better. But, that’s not the case anymore. Read her letter that was released by her team today:
Why Indian Country Is Disappointed
By Elouise Cobell
As one of the many people in Indian Country, who looked to the Obama administration for change, I am deeply disappointed with what it is saying about our 13-year-old lawsuit over the government’s admittedly broken Indian Trust.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has stated repeatedly he wants to see our class-action lawsuit settled.
That claim was repeated last week by his spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff who told Indian Country Today the secretary “is sincere in trying to find a resolution to this case.”
Yet she then went on to maintain there is a reason why we should not have heard from the government’s representatives on his wish for a settlement. “Given the fact that the matter is in litigation, any interaction needs to take place through legal counsel,” she said.
The truth is that is not the way it has worked in the past when previous administrations made overtures to us about settlement.
Although those efforts never produced any productive results, there were efforts by the political leaders of previous administrations to talk to us about resolving the case. And that includes the Bush administration, which did so only weeks after taking office.
The talks must be at the highest level among people who have the authority to deal with the major, historic policy issues involved.