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Secretary Salazar, Attorney General Holder Announce Settlement of Cobell Lawsuit on Indian Trust Management


December 8, 2009

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced a settlement of the long-running and highly contentious Cobell class-action lawsuit regarding the U.S. government's trust management and accounting of over three hundred thousand individual American Indian trust accounts. These are photos from the press conference.


  • “Resolving this issue has been a top priority of President Obama, and this administration has worked in good faith to reach a settlement that is both honorable and responsible. This historic step will allow Interior to move forward and address the educational, law enforcement, and economic development challenges we face in Indian Country,” Secretary Salazar said. Pictured left to right are Solicitor of the Interior Hilary Tompkins, Elouise Cobell, Deputy Secretary David Hayes and Secretary Salazar. (Photo credit 1: Tami A. Heilemann-DOI)
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  • “Today we turn the page. This settlement is fair to the plaintiffs, responsible for the United States, and provides a path forward for the future,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. Pictured left to right are Solicitor of the Interior Hilary Tompkins, Elouise Cobell, Deputy Secretary David Hayes, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary Salazar and Associate Attorney General Tom Perelli. (Photo credit2: Tami A. Heilemann-DOI)
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  • Deputy Secretary David Hayes, who worked closely with all parties to help bring about the settlement, gives details as Elouise Cobell looks on. (Photo credit 3: Tami A. Heilemann-DOI)
    Deputy Secretary David Hayes, who worked closely with all parties to help bring about the settlement, gives details as Elouise Cobell looks on.
  • Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced a settlement of the long-running and highly contentious Cobell class-action lawsuit regarding the U.S. government’s trust management and accounting of over three hundred thousand individual American Indian trust accounts.  These are photos from the press conference. (Photo credit 4: Tami A. Heilemann-DOI)
    Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced a settlement of the long-running and highly contentious Cobell class-action lawsuit regarding the U.S. government’s trust management and accounting of over three hundred thousand individual American Indian trust accounts.  These are photos from the press conference.
  • Solicitor of the Interior Hilary Tompkins, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was a key representative in the negotiations. Also pictured; Secretary Salazar and Attorney General Holder. (Photo credit 5: Tami A. Heilemann-DOI)
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  • Elouise Cobell filed her class action suit in 1996 and originally thought it would take only three years to resolve the issues. She joined Secretary Salazar and Attorney General Holder in making the announcement. (Photo credit 6: Tami A. Heilemann-DOI)
    Elouise Cobell filed her class action suit in 1996 and originally thought it would take only three years to resolve the issues. She joined Secretary Salazar and Attorney General Holder in making the announcement.
  • 1208091
  • 1208092
  • Deputy Secretary David Hayes, who worked closely with all parties to help bring about the settlement, gives details as Elouise Cobell looks on.
  • Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced a settlement of the long-running and highly contentious Cobell class-action lawsuit regarding the U.S. government’s trust management and accounting of over three hundred thousand individual American Indian trust accounts.  These are photos from the press conference.
  • 1208095
  • Elouise Cobell filed her class action suit in 1996 and originally thought it would take only three years to resolve the issues. She joined Secretary Salazar and Attorney General Holder in making the announcement.