The late Elouise
Cobell meets President Barack Obama at the White House on December 8, 2010.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
The Interior Department transferred nearly $500,000 to the Cobell scholarship fund, officials announced on Wednesday.
The fund that was created by the $3.4 billion settlement to the Indian trust fund lawsuit now boasts a balance of about $40 million. So far, about $2.2 million has been distributed in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students who are members of federally recognized tribes.
"With every new contribution, the scholarship fund will enable increasing numbers of Native American students across Indian Country to gain the advanced education and training that will help them meet the leadership challenges of the 21st century," Solicitor
Hilary Tompkins, a member of the Navajo Nation who negotiated
the settlement on behalf of the department, said in a press release. "They are pursuing their dreams, opening doors to new opportunities, preparing themselves for leadership and advancing self-determination for their communities – all thanks to the vision of Elouise Cobell, whose life and legacy inspires and guides this noble initiative."
The scholarship is seeded with proceeds from the Land Buy-Back
Program for Tribal Nations. A portion of every purchase goes into the fund
as Indian landowners are paid for their fractional interests, which are then
returned to tribal governments.
The settlement allows up to $60 million to be deposited for scholarships.
The board of trustees that oversees the fund, however, will manage the money in
order to keep the program going for as long as possible.
"The latest distribution aids our mission of carrying out the vision of Elouise Cobell to enhance educational opportunities for American Indians and Alaskan Native students," said Alex Pearl, a member of the Chickasaw Nation. "With the beginning of the new school year, we are excited to continue awarding the talented students in Indian Country."
The latest round of awards went out to 733 students this month, Indigenous Education announced on Facebook. The non-profit is administering the fund on behalf of the Cobell scholarship board.
The Interior Department makes transfers to the scholarship fund every quarter.
with Melvin Monette about Cobell scholarship program (05/26)
scholarship fund grows to nearly $39M with latest DOI transfer (04/12)
scholarship board chooses new entity to administer funds (03/23)
transfers another $4M to Cobell settlement scholarship fund (01/06)
scholarship fund now boasts nearly $30M from settlement (10/01)
scholarship fund now boasts nearly $20M from settlement (07/09)
Country Times: Cobell scholarship fund being put to use (04/27)
available for Cobell settlement scholarship funds (04/20)
transfers another $12M from buy-back to scholarship fund (04/02)
still working on delivering money for Cobell scholarships (03/25)
puts nearly $1M from land sales into Cobell scholarship fund (01/06)
puts another $1M from lands sales into Cobell scholarships (10/01)
Cowan Watts: Laying the groundwork for college scholarship (08/28)
Gipp from UTTC joins Cobell scholarship board of trustees (08/13)
puts another $2.9M from land sales into Cobell scholarships (07/01)
announces transfer of nearly $580K for Cobell scholarships (04/02)
DOI announces two choices for
Cobell scholarship board (1/15)
Kevin Washburn to host
conference call on Cobell scholarships (4/18)
DOI seeks nominations for
Cobell settlement scholarship board (03/13)
American Indian College Fund
to administer Cobell scholarships (03/12)