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Oversight Hearing on "Implementing the Cobell Settlement: Missed Opportunities and Lessons Learned"
Thursday, April 3, 2014 2:00 PM
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs
1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515


Oversight Hearing on:

  • "Implementing the Cobell Settlement: Missed Opportunities and Lessons Learned"

Archived Video Webcast:

Witnesses and Testimony:

PANEL I

Mr. Lawrence S. Roberts
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs
U.S. Department of the Interior

Chairman Michael O. Finley
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Chairman John Berrey
Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma

Chairman Gary Burke
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

President Mark L. Azure
Fort Belknap Tribal Council
Fort Belknap Indian Community

Councilman Grant Stafne
Tribal Executive Board
Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes

Background:

This hearing will examine the delays and uncertainty in the land buyback program authorized as part of the Cobell Settlement. The settlement provided for the resolution of individual Indian claims relating to Interior Department’s mismanagement of land and funds held in trust. The Cobell Settlement called for a one-time payment of $1.9 billion to fund an Interior Department program to consolidate highly fractionated interests of Indian lands into tribal ownership. Highly fractionated trust land is difficult and costly for individual Indian land owners and the Department of the Interior to manage, holding back potential opportunities to create jobs and grow local economies. Witnesses at this hearing will offer their insight into the current state of the land buyback program and provide solutions to make sure this program is working in the best interest of Indian communities.

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