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Lakota Country Times: Cobell scholarship fund being put to use

The following story was written and reported by Brandon Ecoffey, Lakota Country Times editor. For more news, subscribe to the Lakota Country Times today. All content © Lakota Country Times.

Sam Deloria. Photo from Facebook

Cobell funds to be put to use
By Brandon Ecoffey
Lakota Country Times Editor

PINE RIDGE— With much of the Cobell monies already spent by both tribal governments and individual citizens, one portion of the settlement is now ready to be doled out in the form of scholarships for Native people across the country.

As part of the Cobell V. Salazar settlement, a portion of the funds collected through the land buy back program was directed by the court to establish the Cobell Scholars Program that will kick off during this Fall school year.

"We at AIGC are eager to fund applicants for the Cobell Scholars Program beginning with the Fall 2015 term. The provision of a scholarship program in conjunction with the Cobell Settlement was an inspired idea, and we are pleased to have been selected to administer the program," said Sam Deloria, Director of the American Indian Graduate Center.

The Cobell Scholars program fund is designed to provide funding for American Indian and Alaska Native students who are attending both post-secondary vocational schools and other “institutions” of higher learning. In April the Department of Interior announced that $12 million would be transferred over to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund.

The Cobell settlement sprang from a class action lawsuit filed that alleged that the Federal Government had mismanaged trust assets that it held on behalf of Native citizens. The courts ruled in favor of tribal members and the settlement awarded $3.4 billion, with $1.5 billion being distributed to individual tribal members. The remaining $1.9 billion was set aside for land consolidation. A portion of those funds were allotted for a scholarship fund.

For more information please visit the American Indian Graduate Center’s website at

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