Broken trust

The Interior Department has held more than 54 million acres of American Indian-owned lands in trust since 1887, leasing the properties and managing revenues earned from them through farming, oil drilling and other activities. Longtime government mismanagement has left American Indians with no way of knowing how much money is in their accounts.

A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of American Indians led to a December 1999 federal court decision finding the government in violation of its trust responsibilities and instituting a five-year period of special court oversight of trust-reform efforts. The plaintiffs filed a motion this month for a second trial to begin in January to determine exactly how much money is owed, a disputed amount that they estimate could be up to $10 billion.

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.