Tester: Cobell decision a ‘responsible step forward’

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the Cobell v. Salazar settlement that will compensate hundreds of thousands of American Indians, because the government mismanaged their individual trust accounts:

“Today’s decision is another responsible step forward for Indian Country.  The historic Cobell settlement will benefit thousands of American Indians across the country.  I’m pleased that the court ruled it fair and look forward to seeing it across the finish line.”

The late Elouise Cobell, a member of Montana’s Blackfeet Nation, discovered the government mismanagement of Indian funds more than 25 years ago and filed suit in 1996.  The federal government settled the case in 2009 for $3.4 billion and Congress passed legislation approving the settlement in 2010.

Tester, who authored the settlement in Congress, recently nominated Cobell for the Citizen Service Before Self award for her lifelong work on behalf of Native Americans.