Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid announced today that he is co-sponsoring legislation to award Elouise Cobell the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow upon a civilian, for her perseverance in her pursuit of justice for Native Americans. In 1996, Elouise Cobell filed an historic lawsuit against the federal government seeking justice for the government’s mismanagement of 500,000 Individual Indian Trust accounts. The Cobell case affects 2,700 Native Americans in Nevada.
“Elouise Cobell’s hard work has immeasurably improved the lives of many American Indians, including thousands living in Nevada,” Reid said. “I’m honored to recommend her for the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of her outstanding and enduring contributions and her tireless pursuit of justice.”
For many years, Elouise Cobell led the charge against government mismanagement and displayed unyielding perseverance in her pursuit of justice for this Nation’s most vulnerable population. After a more than 15-year battle, Congress and the President approved a settlement of the suit in December 2010, the largest settlement with the government in American history.
Senator Jon Tester, D-Montana, is the lead sponsor of this legislation, which has seven co-sponsors, including Senator Reid.