We were moved by the powerful film 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justic, which examines the incredible journey of Elouise Cobell, a Blackfeet warrior from Montana, as she seeks to correct financial wrongdoings by the U.S. government against 300,000 Native Americans and their land.
Cobell’s journey began in the 1960s, when she suspected money was missing from government-managed Indian Trust accounts. After years of investigating further, she discovered that it wasn’t just thousands or even hundreds of thousands missing from these accounts — it was billions. And this misconduct had been going on for a century.
When filmmaker Melinda Janko learned about Cobell’s class action lawsuit, she was shocked it wasn’t all over the news. As she dug deeper and got to know the Native American people affected, the picture got grimmer: “What I saw was heart breaking; Indians who were land rich with oil wells pumping 24/7 were living dirt poor without running water and electricity.”
But after decades of Cobell’s work, a $3.4 billion settlement was reached, the largest award against the Federal Government in U.S. history. As she says in the film: “This is not a story about Native Americans. This is a story about mismanagement of money belonging to people.”
It became Janko’s mission to tell this narrative and follow Cobell on her fight for justice. 100 Years chronicles the journey — a must-see! Find a film showtime in New York now, open for a limited time at Cinema Village through October 20.
Above: The Blackfeet Indian Reservation in northwest Montana