In her “Ask Elouise” letter published March 24, Ms. Cobell makes a false statement about the Osage Nation’s successful intervention into the Cobell v. Salazar case.
She says that the Osage Nation “asked the court to exclude many of its members from” the Cobell case. This is patently false. The Osage Nation intervened in Cobell after the Cobell lawyers claimed that lost Osage tribal trust account funds should be distributed to all IIM account holders from all tribes.
These funds are owed solely to Osage headright holders, and are the subject of separate litigation to benefit only Osage headright holders. Thus, the Osage Nation did not seek to intervene for the purpose of excluding any Osages from the litigation but rather to protect against the dilution of the rights of Osage headright holders.
Although the Cobell lawyers opposed the Osage Nation’s request to intervene, Judge Robertson granted that request and ruled in favor of the nation and its headright holders. We encourage Osage headright holders and other interested persons to disregard Ms. Cobell’s erroneous statements.
For more information, visit www.osagetribe.com/mineral.
James R. Gray
Congressman/Speaker John H. Mashunkashey
Councilman/Chairman Robert E. Martin
Councilman Kathryn Red Corn Lynn
Osage Trust Team