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Trust Reform Meeting at UTTC
31 May 2005

UTN - A meeting to accept public comment and discuss tribal trust reform is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 1, in the Jack Barden Center lower level at United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, ND

      The meeting is hosted by the Tribal Workgroup on Trust Reform and Cobell Settlement.

      The meeting concerns federal legislation, expected to be introduced in June, by U. S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND), chair and vice-chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

      National Congress of American Indians President Tex G. Hall (M/H/A Nation) will preside over the public session. Hall co-chairs the workgroup along with Jim Gray, Principal Chief of the Osage Nation and chair of the Intertribal Monitoring Association.

      Tribal leaders representing the largest Indian tribes, and the largest national Indian organizations and stakeholders with trust resources, formed the work group to provide recommendations to Congress about draft legislation to settle the Cobell lawsuit and reform current trust systems.

      Dorgan is scheduled to make a presentation via distance technology.

      Other participants include David Mullon, Majority General Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, (on behalf of SCIA Chair John McCain), Janet Erickson, Democratic Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (on behalf of Byron Dorgan), Sara Garland, Democratic Staff Director, U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and John Echohawk, Executive Director, Native American Rights Fund -- lead attorneys in the Cobell vs. U.S. Dept of the Interior class action lawsuit representing Eloise Cobell.

      Other tribal leaders and individual Indian landowners are expected to provide comments about trust reform litigation and legislation.


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