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Elouise P. Cobell

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FILE - A Feb. 6, 2002 file photo shows National Congress of American Indians President Tex Hall, left, with Elouise Cobell of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana, center, and Jimmy Goddard, from the same tribe, on Capitol Hill. Settlement payments among hundreds of thousands of Native Americans whose land-trust royalties were mismanaged by the government for more than a century have been held up by more than 2,400 appeals by people who were ruled ineligible to participate in the settlement. At issue is the second of two distributions in one of the largest U.S. government settlements in history, prompted by a lawsuit filed in 1996 by Cobell. (AP Photo/Terry Ashe, File)