Elouise Cobell, 1945 - 2011

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The Blackfeet woman who fought for more than a decade to win a $3.4 billion settlement for American Indians robbed of their Individual Indian Money trust accounts died on Sunday. She was 65.

The Missoulian reports she had surgery in April for "what she described then as 'a serious cancer.'"

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Early last year, Indy staff reporter Alex Sakariassen interviewed Cobell after her historic victory. At the end of the interview, she talked about finally getting a chance to settle back in Montana.

When I leave Washington, I feel like I'm drained, like everyone's taken all the blood out of me. But as soon as you drive into your driveway and you see those mountains, you're puffed up again...you're back to normal and you're human again.

When you're younger, you think, "God, I just need to get away from here. I don't like it. I want to get someplace where the action is and things aren't as hard." I always wanted to live in the cities. I lived in Denver and I loved it. I lived in Seattle and I loved it. I was never going to move back here. But once you come home, you know in your heart this is where you're supposed to be. It's a good feeling to live here at Blackfeet.

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