- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 16, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A Blackfeet woman who led a 15-year legal fight against the federal government over mismanagement of Indian trust funds will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the nation’s highest civilian honor.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced 21 recipients who will be honored at the White House next Tuesday, including the late Elouise Cobell.

In addition to the lawsuit that ended with a $3.4 billion settlement, Cobell was a rancher who helped found Native American Bank. She died in October 2011 due to complications from cancer. She was 65.

Turk Cobell issued a statement Wednesday saying he was grateful to President Obama for honoring his mother and noted she would consider the medal an award for all Native Americans.

Crow tribal historian Joseph Medicine Crow received the Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2009.

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