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Elouise Cobell

Elouise Cobell, a banker from Browning, Montana, was the lead plaintiff in one of the largest class action lawsuits against the United States government, for breach of trust duties to thousands of individual Native Americans. Cobell vs. Salazar was an on-going legal attempt to force the United States Department of the Interior to fix its accounting system and properly account for billions of dollars it manages on behalf of individual Indians. After years of litigation, the plaintiffs and the U.S. government reached a settlement agreement in 2010.  A member of the Blackfeet Indian Nation, Ms. Cobell served for thirteen years as the tribe’s treasurer. In addition to operating a working ranch with her husband, she was active in local agriculture and environmental issues.  She died of cancer in 2011.

Prizes, Awards & Fellowships
  • 2005 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship