Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 5862, his bill to allow the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma (O-Gah-Pah) and its tribal members to pursue their Indian trust-related claims in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The Quapaw Tribe sought relief in court for accounting of funds held in trust for the tribe and the tribe's members and agreed to mediation with the federal government. However, the federal government's failure to abide by the agreement has left the tribe with no resolution or recourse for 10 years.
"The Quapaw Tribe cannot effectively manage its assets and pursue economic development without a full accounting of its funds held in trust by the federal government. Despite a 10-year legal process during which the tribe fulfilled every step of its agreement with the government, the Justice Department failed to follow through, leaving this important issue unresolved. This resolution simply allows the tribe a new day in court to argue the merits of their case.
"I appreciate Rep. Dan Boren's hard work on this issue, and I am pleased that my colleagues joined me in voting for this resolution. I look forward to the tribe and the government reaching a fair and equitable conclusion on the underlying claims."