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Office of the Secretary
November 15, 2005
Statement by Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton on Ruling by U.S. Court of Appeals on Indian Trust Litigation

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton has issued the following statement in reaction to today's ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which vacates an historical accounting injunction issued by the U.S. District Court in the longstanding Cobell v. Norton litigation:

"I am pleased the Court of Appeals has again upheld the position of the Department of the Interior in this case. It is gratifying that our detailed and comprehensive plan to conduct a statutorily-mandated historical accounting has been underscored by today's decision. It is particularly encouraging that the Department's proposal to rely on statistical sampling to conduct this effort has been so strongly endorsed in today's ruling."

"The Department of the Interior is working each and every day to fulfill its historical accounting duties under the law and is making significant progress. Thus far, the Department has expended more than $100 million in its historical accounting effort and has found ample evidence that monies collected for individual Indians were distributed to the correct recipients. I encourage all interested citizens to review the Department's most recent progress report on this issue by visiting"