The Casper (Wyo.) Star Tribune has featured the following back and forth on the $3.4 billion settlement in the Cobell v. Salazar case. The settlement requires congressional approval, and Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican who is vice-chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, has been particularly vocal in opposing some of its provisions.On July 4, the Trib ran this opinion column by Kimberly Craven, a Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate member who would be affected by the settlement. She worked for Sen. Daniel J. Evans, R-Wash., when he served as vice chairman of the Senate (then Select) Committee on Indian Affairs
The great rush to approve this settlement without hearings or a record reflects the desperate nature of the plaintiffs and the Cobell attorneys’ need for a bailout. The named plaintiffs and their lawyers will be greatly enriched while Indians are left to the uncertain fate of possible unintended consequences that we will have to live with and explain to our Seventh Generation.
In that response, Cobell, who is Blackfeet from Browning, Mont., likens Craven’s praise for Barrasso to “honoring Hurricane Katrina for what it did to the city of New Orleans.”
Read them both and see what you think.