Elouise Cobell's Homecoming & Ceremonial Viewing (Tape at KFBB website)

KFBB News Team
October 22, 2011,

Originally printed at www.kfbb.com

In the crisp, cold mid-morning air, over 200 people welcomed the homecoming of the First Lady of Indian Country.

Elouise Cobell, the Little Yellowbird Woman, was escorted by her immediate family and authorities from Conrad to Browning.

As soon as she reached the Y that comes just before the reservation begins, hundreds of cars joined in the procession.

And those without cars...marched.

The entire city had shut down.

The passing of Elouise Cobell is a sorrowful event in history, but for residents of the Blackfeet Reservation and Native Americans across the country, her legacy is a source of pride.

"She did a lot for our people,” said her sister-in-law Mary Garrett. “Not just because of the lawsuit, she was the tribal treasure for many years."

"And she truly is a warrior,” said her older sister Julene Kennerly. “She will be spoken about for years, for centuries."

The Little Yellowbird Woman was no more than 5'5 in height, soft spoken, and humble, but she took on one of the most powerful forces in the world -- the United States government -- and won.

"Elouise was so giving,” Garrett said. “And she would forget about herself. She'd give her all to the people. She really did."

"We lost a hero," Kennerly said.