Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute

“Asked what she wanted her legacy to be, she said she hoped she would inspire a new generation of Native Americans to fight for the rights of others and lift their community out of poverty.”

The New York Times, October 17, 2011

During her lifetime, Elouise Pepion Cobell was a passionate champion of Native American rights, inspiring the next generation of advocates to fight for the rights of minoritized communities. Founded on this legacy, the Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute is dedicated to facilitating scholarship, scientific research, and experience-based learning, as well as cutting-edge technology and interdisciplinary knowledge to support the empowerment and resilience of Indigenous Peoples.

Elouise Cobell - Inducted to the National Women's Hall of Fame - 2023

The National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca, New York, inducted eight individuals in 2023, including Blackfeet legal activist Elouise Cobell. 

Cobell in 1996 was the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit, demanding back payment and better accounting on Individual Money Accounts managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The federal government settled 13 years later for $3.4 billion – the largest settlement in U.S. history.

Cobell founded the Blackfeet National Bank, the first national bank located on a reservation. Today, the bank serves 31 tribes, has $128 million in assets and provides financing across Indian Country. Cobell died at 65 in 2011, but her legacy lives on through various awards and scholarships.

Turk Cobell, Elouise's son, said their family is thrilled.

"She rightfully joins a group of fabulous women that have made a positive impact to our country in so many ways," he said. 

Executive Director of the Women's Hall of Fame Jennifer Gabriel said the Hall lifts "the voices and stories of exceptional women who changed the world."  

Video: 2023 National Women's Hall of Fame Inductees

Biographies of 2023's inductees, including Elouise Cobell, Patricia Bath, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Peggy McIntosh, Judith Plaskow, Loretta Ross, Allucquére Rosanne “Sandy” Stone and Anna Wessels Williams.