If you thought the creative accounting of Enron and Arthur Anderson was the apex of scandal, take a look at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It has squandered billions in American Indian trust accounts.
The federal judge overseeing a class action suit against the Interior Department calls it “The gold standard for mismanagement by the federal government for more than a century.” Since 1887, the government has failed American Indians, destroying records, stealing and losing track of money, misappropriating natural resources.
Now, the court is ordering the agency to clean up the mess and account for billions of dollars of Indian money. Breach of trust, broken hearts, and contempt for Interior Secretary Gale Norton.
Nell Jessup Newton, dean of the University of Connecticut School of Law, and Indian law expert
Virginia Boylan, partner in the Indian Tribal Governments Practice at the law firm of Gardiner, Carton and Douglas in Washington D.C.
Louis Gray, Osage Indian, editorial writer and reporter for the Native American Times in Tulsa Oklahoma