February 23rd, 2009
A New York Times editorial today states that the “federal government has a long history of cheating American Indians, and not all of this dirty dealing is in the distant past.”
The editorial discusses a case the Supreme Court heard today wherein the Navajo Nation argues that it lost about $600 million dollarsâ€™ worth of coal royalties because the government helped the coal company underpay for the Navajo coal it mined.
A lower federal court has already ruled for the Navajo Nation. “The ruling found that the Interior Department met â€œsecretly with parties having interests adverse toâ€ the Navajo, adopted those partiesâ€™ â€œdesired course of action in lieu of action favorable toâ€ the Navajo, and misled the Navajo about its actions.”
“The governmentâ€™s behavior was â€œindefensible,â€ according to four former interior secretaries . . . The Obama administration, which has inherited the Bush administrationâ€™s position in the case, should not continue to stand up for these misdeeds.”
Get the entire editorial.