Friday, December 21, 2012
What could be a better Christmas present than receiving a large check in the mail from the United States government?
Getting home from work this week, I checked the mail; in it was a letter from the United States District Court.
Curious, I opened the envelope only to find a check with a large amount of money issued to little ol' me.
In 1996 Elouise Cobell filed a class-action lawsuit against the United States departments of interior and treasury. After years and years in countless courtrooms, Cobell's case finally came to a successful conclusion. Years after that, a settlement, which totals $3.4 billion, is finally making its way to American Indians.
Cobell claimed that the U.S. government incorrectly accounted for the income from Indian trust assets, which belong to individual Native Americans but are managed by the Department of the Interior. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Though Cobell passed away recently, according to several news outlets, her tenacity will remain in my mind forever. She didn't give up on what she thought was right, and because of that, American Indians everywhere are reaping the benefits. What a merry Christmas for Native Americans everywhere!
Just a week before Christmas, I'm able to get even more gifts for my family and friends, and a little something for myself before popping the rest in a savings account for a rainy day.
So, though an apology wasn't technically issued, I accept your apology, United States government, for the inaccurate accounting of Native American assets, and I gladly cashed the check.