Documentary, talk shine light on Native American activist’s ‘courageous battle’

The documentary 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice will be shown in West Pauley Ballroom at 7:45 on Thursday, Feb. 22.

The producer and director of an acclaimed new documentary about a Native American activist who spent 30 years fighting the federal government — and winning — will be speaking on campus tomorrow evening (Feb. 22).

The documentary, 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice, tells the story of Elouise Cobell, who sued the federal government for mismanaging trust funds belonging to more than 500,000 Native Americans.

Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, first sued in 1996. By 2010, her efforts had uncovered sweeping problems with the U.S. government’s treatment of Native Americans.

That year, a class-action lawsuit by Cobell and other Native Americans won a $3.4 billion settlement from the federal government that also allowed the tribes to buy back fractionated land interests. As part of the settlement, the government created a $60 million scholarship fund for Native American students. President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Cobell the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

The documentary, which will be available on PBS and Netflix in March, will be shown in West Pauley Ballroom from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m.

The event is part of the Native Women’s Speaker Series, which is supported by the Division of Equity and Inclusion.