Here’s the full announcement on the meetings:
Information on how Native Americans in Montana may be able to share in a recently announced $3.4 billion settlement of Indian Trust claims will be discussed at meetings Friday and next week.
On Friday Elouise Cobell of Browning, lead plaintiff in the case, will be meeting with Blackfeet Tribal Members at the New Eagle Shield Center in Browning from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
On Monday she and David Smith, a member of the plaintiffs’ litigation team that helped negotiate the settlement, will begin visiting other three Indian communities to share information about the agreement.
They will visit the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes Monday at the Salish Kootenai College Victor Charlo/Johnny Arlee Theater in Pablo from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
On Tuesday they will visit the Fort Belknap Tribes at the Little River Learning Lodge in the Bee Gawn Hey and Si Si Rooms at Fort Belknap College from 1 p.m to 5 p.m. and on Wednesday they will visit Fort Peck Tribes at the Silver Wolf Casino, Highway 25 East, Wolf Point, from 1 to 5 p.m.
Native Americans whose families have individual Indian money trust accounts or who own individual Indian trust land are welcome to attend the meeting and ask questions about the settlement.
The Obama administration announced the proposed agreement to resolve a 14-year-old class action lawsuit Ms. Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, and other Native Americans filed against the government in 1996. The lawsuit claims that the federal government mismanaged individual Indians’ trust accounts.
Congress and the courts must approve the settlement.
Under the proposed terms, the federal government will create a $1.4 billion Accounting/Trust Administration Fund and a $2 billion Trust Land Consolidation Fund. The settlement also creates an Indian Education Scholarship fund of up to $60 million to improve access to higher education for Indians.
Cobell also answers questions about the settlement online in her weekly Ask Elouise column, here.
Tags: Blackfeet, buffalo post, Cobell v. Salazar, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Elouise Cobell, Fort Belknap College, Fort Belknap Reservation, Fort Peck Reservation, Gwen Florio, Indian trust case, Interior Department, Salsih Kootenai College