Public screening held for film about Elouise Cobell’s fight for justice

Posted at 11:22 AM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 12:56:35-04

GREAT FALLS – Elouise Cobell’s legacy stretches from north-central Montana to Washington, D.C. and the public was given the chance on Tuesday to watch her story unfold.

Several people visited the C.M. Russell Museum for a free public screening of “100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice,” the documentary that chronicles Cobell’s fight for justice for 300,000 Native Americans whose mineral-rich lands were grossly mismanaged.

In 1996, Cobell filed a class-action lawsuit against the United States government for the mismanagement of those trust funds, and in 2009, a $3.4 billion settlement was awarded in the case, the largest settlement in American history.

Although Cobell died in 2011, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2016. She is also a 2018 inductee into the Native American Hall of Fame.

For the museum, the documentary must be shown to help the community learn about and understand Cobell’s fight.

“It’s important for us to show this program in our community because it highlights the work that Elouise Cobell did for our community and the Native American community here as well as across the United States,” Eileen Laskowski, education and programs manager, said.

The 75-minute documentary was directed by Melinda Janko and produced by Fire in the Belly Productions, Inc. You can read more about the film at its website.

An evening screening of the film will start at 6 p.m. at the C.M. Russell Museum located at 400 13th Street North.

The program will feature “Indian Country,” a discussion about the art of David Bradley and a conversation about conservation on the Blackfeet Reservation with featured speaker Dylan DesRosier.

The event is open and free to the public, however, seating is limited.

– Natalie McAlpine reporting for MTN News