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Not settling for less

In Cobell v. Salazar, we have had lawyers and advocates who fought a tremendous battle for us against the Department of Interior’s bureaucracy, and prevailed.

Then, they settled for less.

When it is all over and the dust has settled, we will see:

  • That there is enough blame to go around.
  • That we were sold out and our trust betrayed, by those we needed the most.
  • That there were even our Indians saying, “settle for less, settle for less” and in the end, they did.
  • That Obama and his crew are in charge of the Department of Interior.
  • That with $47 billion to $58 billion at stake, the Obama administration and the Cobell lawyer team settled for less than three cents on the dollar. How would you like a deal like that? Well, you got it.

I believed in hope and change. I believed in redistribute and share the wealth. I thought Obama would be on our side.

Obviously I was wrong.

I thought [Elouise] Cobell and her staff of lawyers would get us a reasonable settlement.

Obviously I was wrong.

I thought we were going to get what is owed to us.

Again. … obviously I was wrong.

There are Indians that put their political party above their family, their tribe and all the rest of us Indians.

They say don’t criticize Cobell, the Department of the Interior or Obama. What they are really saying is they would rather sell out their own Indian people than their politics, so we should sit down, shut up and settle for less.

You need to know, there are only three ways to shut me up: Kill me, send me to the gulags or do the right thing. Settling for less is not doing the right thing. That is why so many of us are living and dying in poverty.

We do not have to settle for less! Call, write or e-mail Cobell, the Department of the Interior, your congressman and senators, and the president before it’s too late. Tell them we won’t take three cents on the dollar, or any excuses. Tell them we won’t vote for them if they try to make us settle for less. And tell them we won’t sit down and shut up.

– Jeff Cook

Washoe Tribe of Nevada

and California

Benson, Ariz.