- Associated Press - Saturday, October 11, 2014

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - More than a 100 people helped dedicate the new Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute at the University of Montana.

The institute is located in the Payne Family Native American Center. It aims to bring higher levels of interaction among UM, tribal communities and tribal colleges.

Cobell was a Native American activist from the Blackfeet tribe who led one of the largest class-action lawsuits against the federal government. The lawsuit contended that the U.S. Interior Department illegally obtained billions of dollars in royalties owed to individual tribal members across the country.

The federal government eventually settled for $3.4 billion.

Cobell passed away in 2011 at age 65.

The dedication ceremony on Friday included members of Cobell’s family, friends and UM officials.

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