Key Deadlines in Cobell Settlement Quickly Approaching

The court-ordered process of notifying individual Indians of their legal rights in the historic $3.4 billion class-action Cobell v. Salazar settlement is coming to a close and key deadlines are quickly approaching.

The settlement provides a $1.5 billion fund to compensate an estimated 500,000 affected individual Indian trust beneficiaries who have or had IIM accounts or hold an interest in trust or restricted land.

There are two groups of class members eligible to receive money from the fund:  Historical Accounting Class and Trust Administration Class. The Historical Accounting Class includes individual Indians who were alive on Sept. 30, 2009, who had an open IIM account anytime between Oct. 25, 1994, and Sept. 30, 2009, and whose account had at least one cash transaction.

The Trust Administration Class includes individual Indians alive on Sept. 30, 2009, who had an IIM Account at any time from 1985 through Sept. 30, 2009, recorded in currently available electronic data in federal government systems, as well as individual Indians who, as of Sept. 30, 2009, had a recorded or demonstrable interest in land held in trust or restricted status.

The estates of deceased class members will also receive a settlement distribution if the deceased beneficiary’s account was open as of Sept. 30, 2009, or their land interest was open in probate as of that date.

If you are a class member and have received notification, you need to do nothing more to receive payment. If you have not received notification and believe you should be part of the settlement, you need to submit your claim form as soon as possible at the Indian Trust Web site (www.IndianTrust.com) or by calling 1-800-961-6109.

Class members who wish to keep their right to sue the federal government over mismanagement claims covered by the settlement must exclude themselves from the settlement by April 20, 2011. Class members can also submit written comments or objections about any settlement terms that concern them by April 20, 2011.

5 Comments

  1. leslie twobear says:

    COBELL MESSY MONEY GRAB for NEW YORK LAWFIRMS plus more…becomes the perfect picture of BOWL OF FRUIT becomes BOWL OF TURDS…the STINK of it reeks to the most impoverished places in thjs country,and known to the poorest of poorest INDIANS…INDIANS,who have no comprehension for the most part,of anything beyond WATCHING THE FREE MONTHLY CARBOHYDRATES INFLATE THEM AND SEND THEM TO THE WORLD OF DIABETES…and yet,they wait like its a PRIZE to perhaps take this pittance and buy another used broken down gay hog vehicle…and yet,no one has been able to explain to congress,that the 1*9 billoin $ to go to the DEPT OF INTEROIR..to buy back lands..ha ha ha…TO GIVE TO CORRUPT TRIBE COUNCILS..makes ZERO sense…tnat part should be eradicated…and go directly to the indian…and of course the OUTLANDISH BILLING BY LAWFIRMS..TO. 200 MILLION ..isnt remotely REAL..ha ha ha….also.the bean counters who created this mess at bia,due to NOT CARING…should get retrained with modern equipment instead…and hire the real deal accountants,not nepotism jobs…thats how this happened…also.get those payments TO MODERN 21*ST CNTURY funds…and quit these ”back door land deals for lease pymnts as lil as possible..scams overwith…those ‘padded deals”..thru bribery of bia employees to ”fudge stuff up”.so the companies can get awayyyy with GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT..illegal dumpings??.cell tower scams?? oil well scams…THIS WOULD MAKE A FANTASTIC INDEPTH MEDIA STORY..”60 MINUTES”???

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  2. leslie twobear says:

    AFTER reading more TOM FOOLERY BILLING RIGGINGS..by.various LAW FIRMS IN ”COBELL SETTLEMENT”…I ha ha ha’d so hard…its become A COMEDY OF ERRORS AND FOOLS ERRAND…one lawfirm explained nheir 950$ an hour work week using 28.5 hour DAYS!!! ..HA HA HA…

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  3. Lee p. falcon jr. says:

    all that is happening right now is causing alot of native americans to become angry-hasn”t the gov. done people wrong for along time, but we still have that choice to choose and believe that whatis happening –none of it matters-you still can be happy without money ,you:ve still got your kids,-your family- and most important,God has given us a true spirtual heart.Do you believe that god doesn”t see when WE take in a stanger into our home and feed them, clothe them , with asking for nothing in return.!!! thats just the INDIAN WAY ! part of us my family and I , had brutual up bringings but all durning those hard times WE were being molded. When we were being beat.-starving and being put down because of predijuce we cried and cried!! Thats when god gave us the Holy Spirit. When we totally surrendered our hurts and pains and cry out to Jesus-thats when we become free.No drug or money can give you that. So people forgive all who has harmed you -let go of the past and believe we well meet our maker .God gave each and everyone of us a purpose in life. Satan is not included!!!!!!

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  4. sheepherd says:

    AMEN to the comment of Falcon, I though I was alone, but God rest their souls, they were right after all. No one can take that these days.

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  5. Leslie twobear says:

    Thousands of Indians will be affected, losing their residence and their income from grazing allotments. The remaining independent ranchers will go out of business.Tribes will also lose their share of income from entrance fees to Badlands National Park.The Indians aren’t poor enough with $8,000 a year incomes?!?Tribal members who are land owners say they will stand their ground.The government owns 50% of the land in this country and is seizing land under false or shaky pretenses on a continual basis. We are losing our private property rights in this country.A tribal council – Tribal Council 19 – paved the way for this takeover without involving the land owners, who only found out after the measure was passed. The Council continue to ignore land owners because they have been promised the land will be held in trust for them. Some of the land is tied up in leases and the government wants them back.All 9 districts on the reservation have passed unanimous resolutions against the park along with the Shannon County Commissioners and several South Dakota State legislators but the Council ignored them.The government says that having so many land owners on Pine Ridge fractionalizes the land and prevents the land use from being capitalized sufficiently.Isn’t that true of all private property ownership in this country? Can’t that argument be used to seize everyone’s property?The government of course will be completely in charge of the land.Offers of land buybacks totaling more than $100 million have already been sent out to landowners to give them the opportunity to voluntarily sell their fractionated interests or lose it with a seizure. The deadline was the end of June.The land will be consolidated and held in trust for the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation.The Department of Indian Affairs says that it will allow the Indians to “strengthen tribal sovereignty” and allow for “self-governance.”Indians who support the program know that the government can’t be trusted and they will be the managers of the land.Bud May, Tribal member and cattle rancher.In fact, there are lawsuits over the loss of tribal income now secured by the government for oil and mineral rights on Pine Ridge.For the first time, the Cowboys and the Indian landowners appear to be ready with a united front against this land grab.Land owners said they will not comply.Tribal member and cattle rancher Bud May who says “There is a feeling of common cause between attached parties on this issue – namely tribes and other reservations. The bottom line is we’ll all be under dictatorial control if something is not done quick”.This case reminds some of Wounded Knee which was a standoff between the federal government and the Sioux Indian tribe on Pine Ridge in 1890. Some think this will be a replay. Wounded Knee Mass BurialThis buyback conforms to the massive buyback program of 10 million acres in the region to be held for the Indians while we are $17 trillion in debt. The feds will serve as the managers. They could let the Indians buy back the land but they want control. That is already a bad omen for Tribal Council 19 who think they landed the sweetest deal of the century – land returned at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

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