Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | Education

DOI announces two choices for Cobell scholarship board

The Interior Department has chosen its two members for the board that will oversee the scholarship fund that was created by the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement.

Jean O’Brien (White Earth Ojibwe) of the University of Minnesota and Pam Agoyo (Kewa / Cochiti / Ohkay Owingeh) of the University of New Mexico will serve on the five-member board.

“It is with great pleasure that I announce the selection of these two outstanding educational leaders whose accomplishments have opened the doors of higher education to all American Indians and Alaska Natives,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a press release. “Their experience and expertise will be exceptionally valuable to the Board of Trustees as the scholarship fund helps students across Indian Country access the higher education they need to succeed in today’s world. The fund will help strengthen Indian communities, advance tribal progress and secure a better future for Native Americans, honoring Eloise Cobell’s vision and perseverance.”

The Cobell plaintiffs already selected their two representatives to the board. They are Turk Cobell, the son of the late Elouise Cobell, and Alex Pearl, a law professor who is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.

The fifth member will be selected by the American Indian College, the group that's been chosen to administer the scholarship fund.

The scholarship fund will be seeded through the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. If the purchase price is less than $200, $10 will be contributed to the fund.

If the purchase price is between $200 and $500, $25 will go into the fund. For purchases greater than $500, 5 percent will be paid to the fund.

The first offers under the program went out last month.

Get the Story:
Press Release: Secretary Jewell Announces Board of Trustee Selections for Cobell Education Scholarship Fund (DOI 1/15)

Federal Register Notices:
Request for Nominations To Serve on Board of Trustees for the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund (April 18, 2013)
Request for Nominations to Serve on Board of Trustees for the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund (March 13, 2013)

Related Stories:
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)

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