• What is the current status of the trust accounting claim? +

    On May 16, 2016, the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council passed a resolution allowing the Nation’s Attorney General to move forward in pursuing a claim against the United States for an accounting of its trust resources.

    On November 28, 2016 the Cherokee Nation filed a complaint in federal district court demanding the United States provide an accounting of all Cherokee Nation trust resources held or managed by the United States.

  • Why is the Cherokee Nation suing the United States Government? +

    Trust accounting claims are a means to obtain information about how the United States has managed the funds and resources it holds in trust for Indian Tribes. As part of its trust management duties, the United States is responsible for providing an accounting of the trust. Now, the Cherokee Nation leadership seeks a complete accounting of the Nation’s resources that have been held by the United States and were supposed to be used to the benefit of the Cherokee Nation. The accounting is necessary, given that the United States government managed and controlled the Nation’s property for extended periods of time.

    Federal law requires the United States to provide a meaningful accounting to the Nation of the Trust. Unfortunately, the United States has never provided such an accounting to the Cherokee Nation.

  • What is the United States’ trust responsibility? +

    The trust responsibility is a legal obligation under which the United States “has charged itself with moral obligations of the highest responsibility and trust” toward Indian tribes. It is a “legally enforceable fiduciary obligation on the part of the United States to protect tribal treaty rights, lands, assets, and resources, as well as a duty to carry out the mandates of federal law with respect to” tribes, including the Cherokee Nation.
  • What kind of resources did the United States manage for the Cherokee Nation? +

    At a certain point during the relationship between the United States and the Cherokee Nation, the federal government—via treaties, statutes and executive orders—assumed a role managing certain money, land and resources on behalf of the Nation. The federal government was then responsible for not only handling the trust property justly and fairly for the benefit of the Cherokee, but also for providing the Cherokee Nation with interest payments from certain investments and an accounting for the trust so the Nation can evaluate whether the federal government has administered the trust in a reasonable manner.
  • Why does the United States rather than the Cherokee Nation manage these resources? +

    At a certain point during the relationship between the United States and the Cherokee Nation, the federal government, via treaties, statutes, and executive orders, assumed a role managing certain money, land, and resources on behalf of the Nation. The federal government was then responsible for not only handling the trust property justly and fairly for the benefit of the Cherokee, but also for providing the Cherokee Nation with interest payments from certain investments and an accounting for the trust so the Nation can evaluate whether the federal government has administered the Trust in a reasonable manner.
  • Is it true that no complete accounting has been provided to the Cherokee Nation? +

    Yes. The Cherokee Nation has never received a proper accounting.
  • How long is the lawsuit going to take? +

    There is no clear timeline for an accounting claim, but the Nation is committed to an efficient and just resolution of its claim.
  • 1