Leave it to the Obama administration to hold off on any settlement for the Native American Indians until he needs their votes for the up-coming election. And it sure seems this Billion dollars may very well pay off.
The Department of the Interior manages about 56 million acres of trust lands, approximately 2500 tribal trust accounts for more than 250 tribes, and for federally-recognized tribes with more than 100,000 leases on those lands for various uses, including housing, timber harvesting, farming, grazing, oil and gas extraction, business leasing, rights-of-way and easements.
In late 2009, lawyers for many of the tribes with litigation pending against the United States wrote to the president and asked the administration to engage in expedited settlement discussions with their clients, and in 2010, Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division Ignacia Moreno, Interior Department Solicitor Hilary Tompkins and Treasury Department General Counsel George Madison met with attorneys for the tribes, and the parties embarked on a settlement process that the tribes termed the “Settlement Proposal to Obama Administration,” or “SPOA,” which led in part to the Billion dollar announcement.
April 9th, 41 Native American Indian Tribes have settled for over $1 Billion to resolve claims dating back more than 100 years. These settlement agreements represent a significant milestone in the improvement of the United States’ relationship with Indian tribes, according to Native News Network.
As a candidate Obama promised to settle the vast number of tribal trust cases pending against the United States by American Indian tribes and, in some cases, individuals.
Chief James Allan stated that Obama has done more for them than the last 5 presidents put together.
Eric Holder was part of the White House event stated:
“These settlements fairly and honorably resolve historical grievances over the accounting and management of tribal trust funds, trust lands, and other non-monetary trust resources that, for far too long, have been a source of conflict between Indian tribes and the United States.
Our commitment to tribes is the cornerstone of the Department of Justice’s policies and initiatives in Indian Country, and these settlements will enable the tribal community to pursue the goals and objectives they deem to be appropriate while marking another step in our shared future built upon mutual respect and strong bonds of trust between tribal governments and the United States.”
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, also at the event had this to say:
“It strengthens the government to government relationship with Tribal nations, helps restore a positive working relationship with Indian Country leaders and empowers American Indian communities. I want to commend Attorney General Holder, our Interior Solicitor Hilary Tompkins and other key officials who were involved in the long negotiations leading to these historic agreements. I look forward to working with Tribal leaders to further strengthen our government to government relationship based on mutual respect and a shared concern for the proper management of tribal trust assets and funds.”
The 41 Tribes that are part to the Settlement Proposal to Obama Administration are as listed:
- Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation
- Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
- Blackfeet Tribe
- Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians
- Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians of Colusa Rancheria
- Coeur d’Alene Tribe
- Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation
- Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
- Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
- Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Reservation
- Hualapai Tribe
- Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians of Arizona
- Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas
- Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
- Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Indians
- Makah Tribe of the Makah Reservation
- Mescalero Apache Nation
- Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
- Nez Perce Tribe
- Nooksack Tribe
- Northern Cheyenne Tribe
- Passamaquoddy Tribe of Maine
- Pawnee Nation
- Pueblo of Zia
- Quechan Indian Tribe of the Fort Yuma Reservation
- Rincon Luiseño Band of Indians
- Round Valley Tribes
- Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
- Santee Sioux Tribe
- Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation
- Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians
- Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation
- Spokane Tribe
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of the Fort Yates Reservation
- Swinomish Tribal Indian Community
- Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians
- Tohono O’odham Nation
- Tulalip Tribe
- Tule River Tribe
- Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
- Ute Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation
I believe that the Native American Indians should be compensated, and should have been years ago. However, everyone knows that the Obama administration does nothing from the goodness of their hearts, in fact I think they have no hearts. It saddens and upsets me to think these Native Tribes are being played and used for votes to further Obama’s agenda.