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Blackfeet activist Elouise Cobell to be inducted into National Women’s Hall of Fame

Elouise Pepion Cobell
Adam Sings In The Timber
Elouise Pepion Cobell

A Blackfeet activist is among eight women who will be inducted later this year into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Elouise Cobell, who spearheaded a lawsuit alleging rampant federal mismanagement of Indian trust funds, is one of this year’s inductees.That’s the first and oldest nonprofit dedicated to telling the stories of influential American women.

National Women’s Hall of Fame Executive Director Jennifer Gabriel describes Cobell and her fellow inductees as ‘changemakers’.

Gabriel says Cobell specifically influenced the lives of Native Americans by, “Being able to have a banking system that supported the rights of Native Americans and really looked out for the best interests of their land and their families and their health and everything in between.”

Cobell, a banker and entrepreneur, led a class action lawsuit that resulted in a $3.4 billion dollar settlement on behalf of tens of thousands of Native Americans.

In 2016 President Barack Obama awarded Cobell the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. She died in 2011 due to complications from cancer.

This year’s ceremony will be held September 30th in Seneca Falls, New York and will be live streamed.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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