On December 8, President Obama signed into law the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, which will award $4.6 billion to Native American landowners and African-American farmers who were wronged by the U.S. Government. This act includes the the $3.4 billion Cobell settlement. The Cobell v. Salazar Indian trust fund lawsuit was first filed in 1996. The plaintiffs wanted justice for mismanagement of Indian land royalties held in trust funds by the Department of the Interior dating back to the 1800s.
There are many who see this settlement as a drop in the bucket, as many will receive less than $2,000 under the plan, which designates a total of $1.5 billion for hundreds of thousands to divide. Almost $2 billion will be allocated for programs aimed at land consolidation of fractionated Indian lands.