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Tell YOUR Senators AND Wyoming Repug NOW - Stop Blocking Cobell Settlement -3 PETITIONS!- Justice for 500,000 Native Americans


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Native American rights, justice, Cobell settlement, blocked, Senate, TAKE ACTION, specific Congressional authorization, federal govt, acknowledgement, US govt mismanagement, failure to account for, huge sums owed, individual NativeAms )

LucyKalei
- 3169 days ago - fcnl.org
Just 1 Senate vote stands tween 500,000 NatAms & the money the fed govt owes them for use of their land, just 1 stands in way of ending 14-yr-old lawsuit. Last winter, Cobell settled case for $3.4B, a small fraction of $47B claim, yet still not received !



   

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Comments

Judy C (91)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 2:22 am
Done, thanks.
 

Bette M (91)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 2:27 am
Noted & signed.

Plant & protect Danny's Trees for life....................
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 2:27 am
Please sign them ALL; this is too important !! - OCTOBER 15 DEADLINE !!

1) Friends Committee on National Legislation: JUST ONE VOTE ! : Just one vote in the Senate stands between 500,000 Native Americans and the money that the federal government owes them for the use of their land. Last winter, Elousie Cobell, who brought the case forward 14 years ago, settled for $3.4 billion, a small fraction of the original sum that was asked for.

Native Americans still haven’t received the money. Congress must authorize the settlement before it becomes final. So far the House has passed the settlement twice but the Senate has failed to act.

PLEASE URGE your senators to vote “YES” to approve the Cobell settlement.


2) Tell the Senate: Stop Supporting the Abuse of Native Americans' Rights -
Change.org
(Started by the Consortium for Sustainable Village-Based Development) :
For over a century, Native Americans have suffered gross injustices from the United States government. Congress now has until August 6 --- NOW extended to OCTOBER 15 ---to authorize the Cobell Settlement, which will finally acknowledge the government’s continued abuse of Native land rights- a long overdue and crucial opportunity to begin healing the scars of our nation’s deplorable past (and present).

The $3.4 billion settlement ended a 14-year class-action lawsuit brought against the U.S. Department of Interior by some 300,000 Native American land owners, who argued that the government failed to pay them $42 billion in lease revenue collected by the government over the past 120 years.

After years of stalling, the government finally conceded and agreed to settle with the plaintiffs in December 2009. According to the lead plaintiff, Eloise Cobell, “there is little doubt this is significantly less than the full amount to which individual Indians are entitled.” Yet the plaintiffs agreed to the settlement, mostly out of desperation.

December marked an important milestone for Native Americans across the country, yet the settlement is useless without the congressional approval needed to enact the law and authorize implementation.

The settlement has passed multiple times in the House, but the Senate continues to block it. Most recently, the House attached the settlement to a war-funding bill to increase chances of approval in the Senate. On July 22 the Senate passed the war-funding bill, but made sure to strip the Cobell settlement from the bill first. It is now up to the House (again) to find another way to get this important legislation passed.

The deadline for congressional authorization has been extended five times, and with this latest deadline so close to the date Congress leaves for its August recess, this may be our last chance.

Tell Congress to act now to approve the Cobell Settlement before the August 6 deadline.

After a century of injustice, a 14-year legal battle, and seven months of delays in Congress, how much longer will the plaintiffs have to wait for justice?

Tell the Senate to stop blocking this crucial settlement! There can be no more excuses, no more delays. Congress must approve the Cobell Settlement now.


3) Tell Wyoming Senate Republican Barrasso: Stop Blocking Crucial Legislation for Native American Rights! :
The deadline for Congress to authorize the Cobell Settlement has been extended to October 15. The most recent attempt to pass the settlement on August 6 was blocked—yet again—by Republicans in the Senate.

One Senator in particular is hell-bent on preventing the settlement’s passage—Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), the vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

The chairman of the committee, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), asked the Senate to approve the settlement through a unanimous consent process. But Barrasso objected for the umpteenth time, saying changes needed to be made to the deal.

"My colleague from Wyoming, I think, wishes he were one of the negotiators. Nobody in Congress was a negotiator ... the question is whether we will meet our responsibility,” said Dorgan, according to the Associated Press.

The $3.2 billion settlement ended a 14-year class-action lawsuit brought against the U.S. Department of Interior by some 300,000 Native American land owners, who argued that the government failed to pay them $42 billion in lease revenue collected by the government over the past 120 years. After years of stalling, the government finally conceded and agreed to settle with the plaintiffs in December 2009.

December marked an important milestone for Native Americans across the country, yet the Cobell Settlement is useless without the congressional approval needed to enact the law and authorize implementation. The settlement has passed multiple times in the House, but the Senate continues to delay. The deadline for congressional authorization has been extended numerous times, but this may the last extension.

It’s time to get serious about passing this important legislation, but the abhorrent actions of one lawmaker threaten to dismantle the entire agreement.

Tell Senator Barrasso of Wyoming that his continued actions to block the passage of the Cobell Settlement are inexcusable in the face of more than a century of Native American injustice, and urge him to stop supporting the abuse of American Indians’ rights—it is shameful and intolerable.

After a century of injustice, a 14-year legal battle, and seven months of delays in Congress, how much longer will the plaintiffs have to wait for justice? We must act now to ensure approval of the Cobell Settlement before the October 15 deadline.

Sign the petition to Tell Senator Barrasso: Stop Blocking Crucial Legislation for Native American Rights and Approve of the Cobell Settlement Now!
 

Ben O (128)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 2:29 am
Done!
 

Pamylle G (458)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 3:23 am
Already signed, but very glad to see this on C2NN. Thanks !
 

Judy C (91)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 3:24 am
Hi, I'm back and signed the 3rd petition. I had signed the first one , but the one from change.org said it could no longer be signed. i agree with you, P.D., these issues are very important. Cobell has dragged on endlessly, and has been a travesty.
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 5:53 am

GREAT JOB, Jill!
 

patricia lasek (317)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 6:26 am
Signed
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 8:20 am
Confirmation
Your e-mail message was sent to:
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC AL)
 

Charmaine C (177)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 9:19 am
I cannot believe, based on settler history, that anyone alive in America today would begrudge Native American people what is rightfully theirs! Cough up the dosh guys!
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 9:23 am
US only
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 9:27 am

FOR ANYONE OUTSIDE THE U.S. --

Although you may not be able to sign these actions, any help you can offer by forwarding to others would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.
 

pam w (139)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 9:35 am
Done...
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 9:46 am
Thank you Peasant Di for this information. Thank you *C* for the forward.

Unfortunately... Change.Org...STOP SUPPORTING THE ABUSE OF NATIVE AMERICAN RIGHTS
"The time period for signing this petition has ended"
Sadly with only 261 Votes

Message sent to both Senators...Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein
Message sent to the House...UNFORTUNATELY Elton Gallegly will not even ACKNOWLEDGE this.

I also filled out the 10 friends whom I know will sign.
Forwarding immideately.
 

David Petrosky (113)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 9:54 am
Noted and sent, thanks...

"Your e-mail message was sent to:
Senator Scott P. Brown (R-MA)
Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA)"
 

Valerie W (135)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 9:58 am
Signed both that were open. Thanks Just Carole!
 

Jim Phillips (3247)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 10:24 am
Petitions signed.

TY, PeasantDiva.
.
 

Scarlett P (126)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 10:38 am
Your e-mail message was sent to:
Representative Michael D. Rogers (R-AL 3rd)
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 11:01 am
Got all four!
Had already signed one.
Our gov't is a deadbeat gov't.
If we failed to pay them, we would have been sent to their debtor's prisons years ago.
 

Mary Coleman (148)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 11:48 am
noted and sent all three actions :)
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 12:15 pm
I know that no one commenting on this post & signing these petitions needs convincing about the fairness of this cause. I do think, nonetheless, it is worthy of examination to try to understand how the plaintiffs in this case arrived at the estimated sum of $42 billion in lease revenue, collected by the government over the past 120 years, but not passed on to the Native American land owners.

The following is just one document on this historic case that can be found on the FCNL site (Friends Committee on National Legislation) & that shows how vast amounts of money were made off these lands, which had known owners who got not even a small percentage. Really, highway robbery carried out by our government. As John said, imagine trying to cheat the IRS the way the federal govt cheated these people ! --

Issues: Native American Trust Fund:- Massive Mismanagement
For an example of the Continuing Harm to Individuals:

(Updated: 3/14/2008 Posted: 1/3/2008 - Don't forget we're talking about a class-action suit that has been going on for 14 yrs)


Economic Harm Done to Kennerly Family from North Dakota --
revenue generated by their oil wells doesn’t come to them

Federal judges have ruled that the government has egregiously breached its fiduciary duty to thousands upon

thousands of Native American landowners. When the government leases out Indian land and collects

royalties that go undistributed or are sent to Indian owners erratically, who suffers? “Who pays the price for

government unfitness as a trustee and the failure to resolve this matter,” advocate Elouise Cobell asks and answers:

“One person who has been hurt is a Blackfeet Indian from my reservation, James Kennerly, Jr. James is the son of James Otis Kennerly- or as the Interior Department referred to him, “allottee 1997.” James Otis Kennerly was a World War I veteran wounded and disabled in combat fighting for this Nation. He was allotted trust land in 1907 and it included considerable oil and gas resources in the Cut Bank, a resource rich area of the Blackfeet reservation. Today, his son owns this land with his siblings.

As early as 1930, and most likely much earlier, oil companies pumped thousands of barrels a week off Kennerly’s land; this is documented in records by the Interior Department’s own experts. Government documents establish that payments were made to Interior by the oil companies in connection with the leasing of Kennerly’s allotment. Some of the money even went to James Otis Kennerly over sixty years ago. However, according to Interior’s own historians, after 1946 there are no documents regarding the lease of his land- no statements, no deposits, and no files. And, there was no money deposited into his account. So what happened?

There is no doubt that the oil wells continue to pump of the land of James Otis Kennerly; you can see it for yourself. His son, James Jr., will take you out there tomorrow if you’re interested. Yet after the 1930s, James Sr. did not receive any payments. That continues to be the situation with James Jr. And, every call or visit to Interior (he recounts hundreds of visits) ends the same way—“we can’t give you an explanation.” Interior’s historians now speculate that his lease was unlawfully unitized with other lands of the Blackfeet Tribe and that the tribe now receives the income. However, despite hundreds of hours looking for his documents, they don’t really know. This is all in a report these historians submitted to the Court in our lawsuit…..

Now James Kennerly, Jr. and his siblings share their father’s land, but they do not receive any money from the oil that still pumps from that land. James, Jr. has had more than his fair share of hardship. I can personally attest based on our decades-long friendship that he has lived an impoverished existence. The government’s theft of his trust funds did not on its own bankrupt James Kennerly, Jr., but it certainly significantly contributed and eliminated any options for improving his situation. It robbed him of his health, an education and opportunity, and the abuse continues today. He should be a millionaire, but like his father [before him] lives in great poverty. In many ways, the broken trust has robbed him of his life. And the pain it causes continues every day.

(Testimony before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs by Native American leader Elouise Cobell. This excerpt from written testimony for hearing (3/28/07) is edited slightly for the sake of comprehension.)

The history of the Kennerly family was related in congressional testimony by Elouise Cobell (Blackfeet), the chief advocate for individual Native Americans who are seeking return by the government of multi-billions of dollars of their own money. The money being withheld is neither reparations nor program funds; it is Indian trust fund money held in named accounts, some established by the federal government as long ago as 1887.

At the time of the western land rushes, the government “allowed” Indian families to keep a small portion of their lands, termed an allocation. To protect the interests of these families from charlatans, the government insisted on managing their lands and on being the trustee for royalties generated from leases contracted with individuals and corporations. All cash revenues from the ten million acres of Indian trust lands were to be put in accounts established for these families. Yet, fulsome evidence has revealed that, ironically and appallingly, the agency responsible for protecting the Indians and providing them an accounting did not keep complete or reliable trust records as any bank would be required to do. The legal term for such behavior is malfeasance.

After years of attempting to reason with government agencies in Washington, DC, Ms. Cobell turned to litigation to obtain an accounting. She is the lead plaintiff in a case still in federal district court; the judge is James Robertson. The Indians have had many rulings in their favor, always appealed by the government, but no verdict. After this class action court case dragged on for a decade, some legislators looked for other ways to bring justice to the half-a-million Indians who are affected today. In the 109th congress, a Senate bill was introduced. A number of hearings have been held in recent years. The March 29, 2007 hearing concerned the court case, Cobell v. Kempthorne.

During her written and oral testimony, Ms. Cobell related the story of one of the thousands of families not only affected by the initial government mismanagement but by dogged resistance to providing financial redress. Wanting decision-makers in Congress to look in human terms at the financial and psychological consequences for Indian trust fund account holders, she had an actual victim accompany her to the hearing.

As an act of respect for his having traveled all the way to Washington, DC, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs asked the injured party James Kennerly, Jr. to stand and be recognized. Members of the committee then asked him questions about his personal experience. He was listened to attentively. But will he be compensated?


Native Americans still waiting for the profits from their land and resources assets are appealing to the public to be heard. Friends Committee on National Legislation urges people of conscience to learn more about the broken promises Indian trust scandal at Interior and the related Cobell case. For the history of problems that started over a century ago, go to Native American Trust Fund Scandal, where scrolling down to the end of the article, you'll find a wealth of active links to news stories about the case & the settlement, and archives, background & analysis, all on Cobell, land leasing, legal judgments.

The Kennerly story is one of many examples of the consequences of this administrative debacle. Our society has an ethical obligation to support restitution--returning billions owed.


My comment: How in hell did Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) become the vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee? And how in hell can he look at himself in the mirror? These are rhetorical questions, he's probably quite proud of himself. He should be removed from the Indian Affairs Committee -- he has no right to even sit on it.

 

Jennifer M (78)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 12:36 pm
Action taken. Thanks
 

Alicia V (181)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 12:52 pm
Signed 2, the other 2 wasn't possible. Thanks anyway.
 

. (1)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 1:01 pm
Not US.
 

Michael Carney (217)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 1:03 pm
Noted and signed
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 1:16 pm
Thank you dearly PeasantDiva WorldMinja for explaining in such detail. I appreciate the HISTORY LESSON and am a bit more knowledgable today than yesterday. I take such offence at~


"At the time of the western land rushes, the government "allowed" Indian families to keep a small portion of their lands, termened on allocation. To protect the intrest of these families from the charlatans, the government insisted on managing their lands and on being the trustee for royalties generated from leases contracted with individuals and corporations. All cash revenues from the ten million acres of Indian trust lands were to be put in accounts established for these families. Yet, fulsome evidence has revealed that, ironically and appallingly, the agency responsible for protecting the Indians and providing them an accounting did not keep complete or reliable trust records as any bank would be required to do. The legal term for such behavior is malfeasance."

I am only a novice and don't know if this is the most important part of this History~ but it sickens me.

 

Susan Pernot (75)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 1:18 pm
done
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 1:24 pm
Wish I could sign. Good luck in this worthy cause.
 

Jackie Smith (1)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 1:49 pm
This money has been held in a trust fund sinse the 18 th century,.
and never been honoured by western society,..
As A WHITE WOMAN I FIND THIS DESPICABLE,..
SHAME ON MY RACE,..
 

Stephen Sydebotham (74)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 2:21 pm
Done....Thanks Carole!
 

Rhonda Maness (580)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 2:23 pm
Thanks
 

Charlene Rush (2)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 3:20 pm
TRUTH AND JUSTICE FOR ALL? What a joke!

This part of our history brings our country to shame. Proud to be an American - yes, usually; however, in this case, a resounding NO!
 

Valerie W (135)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 4:03 pm
Just wanted to thank PeasantDiva for posting the story. Already thanked Just C. for posting in a group... was thinking she was the one who posted the story. Age getting to me maybe.
 

Teresa K (33)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 4:03 pm
Done and done and thanks!
 

Bruce Eyster (20)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 4:04 pm
Thanks for posting this .
Signed and sent . I'll send , repost and Tweet !
Thank You .
 

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 4:08 pm
First signed, second message reads:
The time period for signing this petition has ended
That is Change org.
going back to sign the last one
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 4:10 pm

Thanks again, Valerie.

The reason I have to post others' stories (like Peasant Diva's) is because they're faster than me in finding and posting them! LOL

(But, seriously, I'll promote any story I feel is worthy.)


 

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 4:16 pm
We complain about care2,, but change is having some major issues:(
Took forever but I finally got the third one signed and added it to myspace, FB & twitters
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 4:38 pm
FLAG THE SMAMMER!!!!
 

Eternal Gardener (734)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 4:55 pm
Action taken!
 

patricia lasek (317)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 4:58 pm
Make sure you sign all 3 of them! If you've been a member here for any time, you know that it does work to sign petitions.
 

Sheryl G (359)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 5:51 pm
All actions done. Why does it take a lawsuit and all these years just to do the right thing? Shameful.
 

Alicia N (87)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 6:32 pm
Thanks for sharing such an important issue. Give the right amount of money to the right people. Native Americans are the best !!!!!
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 6:35 pm
done, thanks
 

Gloria H (88)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 6:39 pm
Every single treaty was broken by the feds. Every single one! Casinos can't be the only $ource of revenge. Feds stomp on everyone in the way, thinking "being the law, they are above the law". I know that didn't make any sense, but it does when you consider how they act with the rights of citizens and the original Americans. Better late than never!!!
 

Hugh M (75)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 6:48 pm
Thank you for posting this. It is not surprising that Native Americans have been defrauded in this way. In fact I am surprised that they were given title to any land at all. In Australia it is not many years since a landmark case established that Aboriginal people had legal ownership of land under British and therefore Australian law since before settlement. Only then were they able to use the court process to claim financial benefits from the land. It is complex and will never be truly settled. However, at least if a Court makes a decision no malicious politician can do anything to reverse it. This Senator John (Em)Barasso is living up to the implication of his name and is yet another example of how totally inappropriate people can get into government and stand in the way of progress. The original owners of America ought to be compensated for the great series of robberies that have put them on the fringe of society in a country they have always owned. They deserve our respect for caring for it so well when their successors have pillaged it and destroyed many of its wonders and continue to do so. If only I could sign these petitions and comment on them. I encourage anyone who can do it to demand removal of this terrible man from any position where he can carry out his racist agenda.
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 6:51 pm

Thank you (again and again), dear Hugh, for your well-considered and moving words.
 

Pat B (356)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 7:05 pm
TY all, for comments, and taking action. I signed all 3. Hugh, excellent comment. TY, Carole..for yr FW.
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 7:14 pm
Sending a Green Star is a Simple way to say "Thank You"

"You cannot current send a star to Hugh as you have done so within the last week"
 

NICKY MELVILLE (119)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 7:38 pm
Thanks for this. There is a limit I can do as I am not from the U.S. but I am vitally interested in these issues, regardless of which country it is. Justice should be something that is Universal and I love the thought that you are helping US in Australia with OUR issues and we can help you in the U.S.... We are, after all part of one global community now!
 

Evelyn Z (300)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 7:57 pm
Done
 

Linda G (187)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 7:58 pm
Noted. Two signed, one closed. Hopefully justice will be served... finally.
 

Henry P (171)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 8:18 pm
noted ,Thanks Carole for sending this to me.
 

Carmen S (69)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 10:48 pm
Signed on 14 of October.
 

Sonia R (15)
Friday October 15, 2010, 12:20 am
Signed and forwarded. I so appreciate this information.
Justice delayed is justice denied... .
 

H Nick H (1826)
Friday October 15, 2010, 1:32 am
thanks
 

Angelika R (143)
Friday October 15, 2010, 2:31 am
Thank you for signing the petition "Tell Senator Barrasso: Stop Blocking Crucial Legislation for Native American Rights!"

Thank you for writing to your Senators in support of the Cobell settlement.
Nr 2 closed as experienced by many others above. Thank you Jill and Carole!
For the attention of our Australian friends, Nicky M and Hugh I may add that this cause, like many others as well, matters enough to me to take action, even if I am not in the US nor US citizen. Quite correctly stated we are ONE global community obliged to help each other.
"My honorable Senators" have responded in nearly each case so far, never paying attention to my obviously non-US email address, as long as I filled in a valid Zip.
Will pass along now.
 

Colin Hope (201)
Friday October 15, 2010, 3:01 am
Signed and noted!!
 

Kristy M (70)
Friday October 15, 2010, 7:24 am
Signed/noted.
 

Michele Sellman (59)
Friday October 15, 2010, 9:08 am
Signed/noted, thanks for including me, Andrea
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Friday October 15, 2010, 2:12 pm
I am overjoyed at the reaction this post has received. Let's hope that there will be enough signatures to make a different & get Senate approval for the Cobell settlement. Thanks to all of you for caring.

Great thanks to Carole, in particular, but also everyone else who has forwarded the post, or posted on Facebook and/or Twitter: Getting the maximum number of signatures before today, the deadline, was of the essence.

I have to applaud a number of comments I have read here, and their authors, of course.
What Hugh says is so true, right on! SuSanne, Jackie S, Kathy C, Gloria, clever Angelica who signed w/out being American, -- you are just too numerous for me to name you all. But at least I sent out a green star to each one of you.

I wish we could have gone to Washington DC together to give that Wyoming Repug a piece of our mind. I don't know what avenues, if any, exist to remove a Senate committee member or the vice-chairman of a committee.
Would say 500 or a thousand people screaming & yelling for his removal have any effect, do you think?
How many people do you think we could get to march on Barrosso's Senate office? I'd love to do it, but I'm afraid I can't even afford to fly in from Paris!

I would repeat Sonia R's "Justice delayed is justice denied..." because it is short & really to the point, and reminds me of a Langston Hughes poem, written in 1951:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

& Charmaine C's "I cannot believe, based on settler history, that anyone alive in America today would begrudge Native American people what is rightfully theirs! " Yeah -- how COULD they ? How COULD Barrosso? How is it HUMANLY possible ??

There is a group I wanted to introduce everyone to, and, unfortunately, I haven't had the time to do it before.
It's the NARF, the 'Native American Rights Fund,' the non-profit Indian Rights law firm that took the Cobell case and kept with it for all this time.

That wonderful illustration I found for this post, the 'Indian Wars Never Ended - Modern Day Warriors' comes from a campaign they started a couple of years ago.

What is so wonderful is that if Native Americans were robbed, starved, made sick with old & spoiled Army rations, exterminated, displaced and displaced again, dispossessed, confined to reservations, contaminated by mining impacts on the reservation land & water, cheated out of every promise made in treaties with the federal government on down, pursued and killed by the US Army, it was because they had no power at that time.

But Times have Changed, and we are at the beginning of EMPOWERMENT for First Nation peoples now -- Native Americans have become LAWYERS and they are NOW in a position to hold the federal govt to THEIR WORD, in treaties & legally-binding promises made in the past, through litigation in our judiciary system. This is what has happened in the Cobell case, but it is not the only example.

NARF, the 'Native American Rights Fund,' are a non-profit 501c(3) "that provides legal representation and technical assistance to Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide - a constituency that often lacks access to the justice system. NARF focuses on applying existing laws and treaties to guarantee that national and state governments live up to their legal obligations," as they explain on their site.

"Over the past four decades Indian law has dramatically changed. It has become a recognized specialty with a well documented body of statues and case law. In the 1970's and the early 1980's, courts were generally receptive to Indian rights cases. However, since the mid to late 1980's, an increasingly conservative federal bench has made Indian rights cases more difficult to win. Combined with the huge cost of litigation - in time and in money - this means NARF and its Indian clients are always attuned to opportunities for negotiation, consensus, and settlement."

They also explain how they started & how they've developed:

"In 1970 with funding from the Ford Foundation, California Indian Legal Services -- one of the federally-funded legal services programs serving California Indians – implemented a pilot project to provide legal services to Indians on a national level. That project became known as the Native American Rights Fund (NARF).

One year later, the Native American Rights Fund separated from California Indian Legal Services and relocated to Boulder, Colorado where it is more centrally located. NARF incorporated separately with an all-Indian Board of Directors, and in a few short years, the Native American Rights Fund grew from a three-lawyer staff to a firm of forty full-time staff members, with fifteen attorneys. That same year, with start-up funding from the Carnegie Corporation, NARF established the National Indian Law Library (NILL) now located at NARF’s main office in Boulder."

"Throughout its history, NARF has impacted tens of thousands of Indian people in its work for more than 250 tribes. Some examples of the results include:

•Protecting and establishing the inherent sovereignty of tribes
•Obtaining official tribal recognition for numerous Indian tribes
•Helping tribes continue their ancient traditions, by protecting their rights to hunt, fish and use the water on their lands
•Helping to uphold Native American religious freedom
•Assuring the return of remains and burial goods from museums and historical societies for proper and dignified re-burial
•Protecting voting rights of Native Americans "


The above quoted passages come from their web site where you can find out all about NARF, their Mission, Past & Ongoing Work, the Development of Indian Law, & more...NARF Home
-- all the cases they have taken & are currently working on, who they are, how it began; they also run a site devoted entirely to the Cobell settlement.

There are also a few video clips on YouTube about the NARF, the historical context -1973 - the year they began, & their ongoing work, eg THE INDIAN WARS STILL GOING TODAY; "NARF Modern Day Warriors" Documentary Trailer


I was amazed & sickened, when googling for a good illustration for this post, Google came up with this authentic 20th century poster, an historical 1911 'broadside' from the Library of Congress, showing just how Indian lands were sold off to settlers, as though Native Americans had no claims to their homelands --and these weren't the LEASED lands with officially recognized revenue to pay to their rightful recognized First Nation owers, lands of the category dealt with in the Cobell case -- these were lands simply taken over and then sold off by the federal government, lands to which Native Americans lost any & all future claim -- complete DISPOSSESSON !
 

Sonia R (15)
Friday October 15, 2010, 2:26 pm
Thank you for my star Peasant Diva, I was happy to sign and forward to friends. I also posted to my Facebook
page and asked if people would consider helping. Lastly, I forwarded the piece to Rachel @ MSNBC.com.
She's covering so many important issues prior to the mid-terms. We move as a united force...not just today:)
let's keep it going! God Bless... .
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Friday October 15, 2010, 2:42 pm
Thank you DEARLY PeasantDiva WorldMinja for the Star and the acknowledgement. I am truly HONORED. I was THRILLED to forward this as well, and although I don't have FaceBook or Tweeter, my friends did this for me! Thank you again for the your last post...I am so rabbid for any and all TRUTHS of our Native Americans. I am truly ashamed of my white race as well! Unfortunately I don't believe I have ANY Native DNA. I am going to see if I have coverage for a Test, as nothing would give me more PRIDE! My BLOOD and my HEART would be be a true marriage! I also just "cleverly" figured out how my friend can sign as well. WINK! Signed, Sealed and Delivered! :)

Sonia R...God Bless you for forwarding to Rachael Maddow. HOW I WORSHIP THAT WOMAN. Great advice for the future!!!
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Friday October 15, 2010, 2:50 pm
It just came to me that Keith Olberman @ MSNBC has a great Heart and Compassion for issues such as this. EXPOSING TRUTH OF SUCH DISGRACEFUL BEHAVIOR!!! He exposed the situation and went on a rant {I can't recall which state or peoples} about all the Natives that were FREEZING TO DEATH AS POWER HAD BEEN TURNED OFF/NATIVES WERE STARVING TO DEATH...LITERALLY... this past winter. Much help came their way. Gosh, I forget...forgive me! Does someone know how to do this as I don't. THANKxxx
 

Catherine Ignatowski (80)
Friday October 15, 2010, 3:09 pm
Noted and signed. Sent email to senator.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Friday October 15, 2010, 3:53 pm
I'm sorry SuSanne, I can't deal with your request now because it is almost 1 am here & my companion is breathing down my neck for use of the computer. So sorry! I just came on to share a new petition:

I have found ANOTHER petition: Change.org: Please, Congress, Approve Native American Trust Fund
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Friday October 15, 2010, 3:59 pm
Yes, Sonia, FANTASTIC, just GREAT!! -- I didn't see that just before when I posted the new petition link.

I've come back to say that the new petition was created by a C2 member -- this is his page; his name is James M Nordlund.
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Friday October 15, 2010, 4:11 pm
Oh sweetie, you misunderstand. I was just suggesting to anyone on this site hun!
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Friday October 15, 2010, 4:13 pm
Change.Org~ #185
 

Bette M (91)
Friday October 15, 2010, 4:17 pm
Signed & noted

Plant & protect Danny's Trees for........Life...........
 

Trish K (93)
Friday October 15, 2010, 6:14 pm
Done Deal. One More Vote .
 

Animae C (509)
Friday October 15, 2010, 7:50 pm
THAN.Q darling SuSanne for the fwd & addresses!! : )

SIGNED PETITION #189 & letter sent
 

Steve Howard (45)
Monday October 18, 2010, 7:18 pm
Done, thanks.

Peace
 

Jae A (316)
Monday October 18, 2010, 8:50 pm
Peasant Di,thanks for the posting . They say the wheels of justice turn slowly but apparently it's wagon has lost it's wheels altogether...along with it's marbles, so ta say. Timet to get them back on the trail again ..a.s.a.p.
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Monday October 18, 2010, 10:44 pm
Jae A~

Sending a Green Star is a Simple Way to Say Thank You."

"You cannot currently send a star to Jae A as you have done so within the past week."
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Wednesday October 20, 2010, 12:22 am
So doesn't anyone want to know WHAT HAPPENED with our Oct 15 Deadline ?

From the BLT, the Blog of Legal Times, Law & Lobbying in the Nation's Capital,
October 15, 2010 : COBELL SETTLEMENT DEADLINE EXTENDED ( AGAIN !!! ) to Jan. 2011

The extension for congressional authorization of the $3.4 billion settlement in a long-running Indian trust suit in Washington was pushed back today to January 2011, giving Congress more time to examine the deal.

Senior Judge Thomas Hogan of Washington federal district court expressed concern today that Congress has NOT APPROVED the deal, first announced in December 2009. Hogan MET THIS MORNING WITH JUSTICE AND INTERIOR DEPARTMENT LAWYERS & ATTORNEYS FOR LEAD PLAINTIFF ELOISE COBEL.

Cobell’s suit, filed in 1996 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks a historical accounting of billions of dollars held in trust for the use of Indian land for oil, timber and minerals. The terms of the agreement call for $1.5 billion in payment to account holders. Nearly $2 billion would be dedicated to a land consolidation program.

The deadline for congressional authorization has been extended numerous times. Hogan today, repeating earlier public statements, urged Congress to act on the settlement, which he said was negotiated at arm’s length.

A team of Kilpatrick Stockton attorneys, working with D.C. solo practitioner Dennis Gingold, represent Cobell. DEPUTY SECRETARY David Hayes of the INTERIOR DEPARTMENT attended TODAY'S session with INTERIOR SOLICITOR Hilary Tompkins. The PLAINTIFF'S LAWYERS, including Gingold and Kilpatrick Stockton partner Keith Harper, met with the GOVERNMENT ATTORNEYS in Hogan’s chambers for about 30 minutes before holding a public court session.

Hogan said the merits of the case are clear: the government is liable.
IF THE SETTLEMENT FALLS THROUGH, THE JUDGE SAID THE PARTIES WOULD RETURN TO LENGTHY, COSTLY LITIGATION. Hogan said he is hopeful Congress will take up the settlement during the lame-duck session. Hogan wants the lawyers to RETURN TO COURT JAN. 7, the DEADLINE he set for Congress to approve the deal.

The LATEST DEADLINE, Hogan said, is “perhapsONE LAST CHANCE” for Congress to approve the terms of the settlement before the Cobell case returns to litigation.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Wednesday October 20, 2010, 1:25 am
Jae - I just love your comment - "They say the wheels of justice turn slowly, but apparently its wagon has lost its wheels altogether" -- really well said, BRAVO!

Otherwise, I have re-found (better late than never..) a simply great site -- I already knew 'indianz.com', but I hadn't visited in a long while and so, didn't know about the great coverage they have been giving to the Cobell case. They have a rare feature -- an ongoing 'Ask Eloise' column section, where people can write directly to lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell (btw, a member of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana), with their questions on the settlement, and SHE ANSWERS -- AND it's all PUBLISHED on the site !

She has also been providing the site with updates on the settlement agreement & status of the settlement in Congress. As you know, the House approved it but it has been blocked in the Senate because of Repub opposition.

Here's how Eloise ended her August 11, 2010 update about status of trust settlement:

"If you have a question, send an e-mail to: askelouise@cobellsettlement.com. Otherwise you can send me a letter to the address below. To expedite the processing of your letters our contractor has set up a post office box in Ohio, but I assure you this letter is coming from me and I will see your letters."

Ask Elouise
Cobell Settlement
PO Box 9577
Dublin, OH 43017-4877

Here's how she began her update:
"Dear Indian Country

This is the THIRTEENTH in a series of OPEN LETTERS that I’m sending to Indian Country. ..."

This link is to All Indianz.com articles on Cobell, including Eloise's open letters, updates, & statements.

The spirit & mind behind 'Indianz.com' is, I believe, Tim Giago (born 1934), an American Oglala Sioux from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. His articles appear in a number of publications & on a number of sites, including the Huffington Post, Native American Times, & the Native Sun News, which he founded & where he is editor & publisher.

He was the recipient of a Harvard University Nieman Fellowship & was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard with the Class of 1990. His weekly column won the H. L. Mencken Award, the University of Missouri Distinguished Journalism Award, in 1985. His book "Children Left Behind" was awarded the Bronze Medal by Independent Book Publishers.

He founded the first independently owned Indian newspaper in the US.
He was the founder and first president of the Native American Journalists Association in 1984.
He was the first Native American ever inducted into the South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 1979, his "Notes from Indian Country" in the Rapid City, South Dakota Journal became the first Indian voice in a South Dakota newspaper. In 1981, he began the Lakota Times. In 1998, he sold the paper (now called Indian Country Today) to the Oneida Nation. founder of the Lakota Times in 1981.

The newspaper withstood firebombs, had its windows shot out with shotguns on three separate occasions and Giago received many death threats including one attempt on his life while building the newspaper successfully on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The paper was re-named Indian Country Today in 1992. He served as editor and publisher for 18 years building it into the largest independent Indian newspaper in America before selling the paper in 1998.

He started the Lakota Journal in 2000 and served as its editor and publisher until his retirement in July of 2004. Indian Country Today, The Lakota Journal and the Dakota Journal are still viable weekly newspapers that were all founded by Mr. Giago. The Lakota Country Times at Kyle, SD and the Teton Times in McLaughlin, SD, are both weekly newspapers started by former editors Amanda War Bonnet and Avis Little Eagle, who were both trained by Giago at his newspapers. A former Lakota Times employee, Kevin Peniska, started Wellness Magazine. Over the years that he ran the paper, a number of native Americans who worked for him later became successful in journalism.
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Wednesday October 20, 2010, 6:56 am
Thank You PeasantDiva WorldMinga for keeping us updated. I have felt that past behaviors always predict future actions. This being said, I don't have much faith that this will be addressed during the next "extended deadline" dated January 2011,

Even though it is lovely to hear that there is more attention being given this case~ especially through "Dear Eloise"...

Hogan said the merits of the case are clear: the government is liable.
IF THE SETTLEMENT FALLS THROUGH, THE JUDGE SAID THE PARTIES WOULD RETURN TO LENGTHY, COSTLY LITIGATION. Hogan said he is hopeful Congress will take up the settlement during the lame-duck session. Hogan wants the lawyers to RETURN TO COURT JAN. 7, the DEADLINE he set for Congress to approve the deal.

If PAST BEHAVIORS predict FUTURE ACTIONS...well we'll have to wait and see now won't we?
 

Past Member (0)
Friday October 22, 2010, 12:02 pm
I signed now all can say ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!!!
 

jane richmond (10)
Tuesday October 26, 2010, 3:11 pm
Done
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Wednesday December 1, 2010, 10:03 am
UPDATE! ..............UPDATE! ..............UPDATE! ..............UPDATE! ..............UPDATE! ..............

'Democracy Now!' Headlines for Dec 01, 2010:
House Approves Settlements for Black & Native American Farmers

The U.S. House of Representatives has given final approval to two multi-billion-dollar settlements resolving longstanding lawsuits over the mismanagement of Native American land trusts and discrimination against African American farmers.
Some $3.4 billion will be paid out to more than 300,000 Native Americans to settle claims over unpaid royalties on seized lands.
Black farmers will receive just more than $1.1 billion for having been systemically denied aid and loans by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
President Obama is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.


From 'Indianz.Com': "House passes package with Cobell and tribal water settlements"

@http://64.38.12.138/trust/cobell/
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Filed Under: Cobell | Law | Politics

After two hours of debate, the House today voted to pass H.R.4783, the Claims Settlement Act of 2010.

The tally was 256 to 152. A handful of Republicans voted to join an overwhelming number of Democrats to support the bill, which now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The bill authorizes the $3.4 billion settlement to the Indian trust fund lawsuit. It also provides funds for tribal water rights settlements and for a settlement with African-American farmers.
 
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