Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) praised the Department of Interior Thursday after it was announced that the first quarterly transfer of funds to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund will begin this week. As a part of this transfer, $580,000 will be designated toward the American Indian College Fund to benefit American Indian and Alaska Native students seeking post-secondary education and training.
The scholarship fund was established as part of the settlement in Cobell vs. Salazar, a class action lawsuit that spanned 14 years and sought an accounting of mismanaged Native American trust accounts held by the United States. Terms of the settlement were finalized by passage of the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 in both chambers and the president signing the legislation into law in December 2010.
“Today provides hope of a better, brighter future for Native American students,” said Cole. “Without the dedicated leadership of those who negotiated the Cobell agreement at the Interior Department, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who passed legislation to enact it and the president who signed the bill into law, this day would not have been possible.