The U.S. District Court decision last week on the Indian trust fund case is disappointing, but no surprise. Acknowledging that the government of the United States systematically stole their resource royalties for 120 years (and still is), the court awarded the plaintiffs what the perpetrating agency attorneys recommended — 1% of what was stolen.
The litigation team spokesman for the plaintiffs in Cobell v Kempthorne says that throughout the twelve year trial, the government never made an offer to settle. What the US government did suggest was that it might be willing to consider a payoff to plaintiffs in exchange for guarantees the license to steal Indian resource royalties in the future would be immune from prosecution.
So without admitting the embezzling of Indian trust funds, the government attorneys were willing to bribe Indian plaintiffs for the right to embezzle. Does this sound like good faith negotiation?
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here