Cobell awarded fellowship from Lannon Foundation

Elouise Cobell, the lead plaintiff in the Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust fund lawsuit, is one of five winners of Cultural Freedom Fellowships awarded by the Lannan Foundation of Santa Fe.

Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, is a banker from Browning, Montana. She is leading one of the largest class action lawsuits against the United States government, for breach of its trust duties to thousands of American Indians.

“Ms. Cobell's persistence in bringing the charges to trial has shone a bright light on more than a century of government malfeasance and dishonesty," the Lannan Foundation said in announcing the award.

In addition to Cobell, the foundation has announced that it is giving a total of $675,000 to support the work of anti-globalization activist Maude Barlow of Canada; book publishers Bobby Byrd and Lee Merrill Byrd of the United States; and journalist Amira Hass of Israel.

The cultural freedom fellowship program is designed to recognize individuals whose work inspires their communities, domestic and international, that are struggling to uphold and defend their right to cultural freedom and diversity. This support is intended to encourage and enhance the recipients' efforts to advance the cause of cultural freedom, a basic human right dependent on political, economic, and environmental justice. The money provided with the fellowship may be used for travel, study, research, or other similar purposes.

"These fellowship recipients are inspiring examples of the kinds of people who keep hope alive, who again and again remind us of the necessity to struggle always for freedom and cultural diversity," said Lannan Foundation president J. Patrick Lannan, Jr.

Relevant Links:
Cultural Freedom Fellowships -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -

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