Yoon Joung Lee
Elouise Cobell, called Yellow Bird Woman in Blackfeet, was born in 1945 in Montana. Her great grandfather was the tribe’s famous leader, Mountain Chief. She received education from Great Falls Business College before she went to Seattle to work as an accountant. She married there and returned to Montana with her husband to work the land on her family’s ranch.
While growing up on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Northwest Montana, she often heard her family and neighbors question why they were not being paid for letting others use their land. The Indians received little or no payment, though the land was placed in trust with the promise that owners would be paid royalties for oil and gas, grazing or recreational leases.
When she became treasurer of the tribe in 1976 with her background and experience in accounting, she became outraged as she dug more into how much money the government had misused. What made her even more upset was that the people the money belonged to were living in dire poverty on the Blackfeet reservation in Northwestern Montana.
She found out that the money was misused and mismanaged since 1880, with amounts owed to the Blackfeet tribe being worth up to hundreds of billions of dollars.After over 14 years of tenacious efforts; 3,600 court filings; 220 days of trial; 80 published court decisions and 10 appeals, Elouise Cobell’s campaign ended in victory in 2009 with the 3.4-billion settlement. Although the sum awarded did not match her own estimation-as high as $27.5billion- of the stolen money from Indians by the American government, this is the largest government class-action settlement in American history.
She was declared a warrior of the Blackfeet Nation and presented with an eagle feather during a tribal ritual in 2000. Without her tenacity and endless effort, it’s for sure there would have been no recognition of misdeeds in the world and compensation to soothe down the anger of mistreated Indians. Hopefully, the standard she set will continue. A hero of Native Americans, Elouise Cobell, died at a hospital in Great Falls, Montana by complications from cancer on Oct 17, 2011. She was 65.
by Yoon Joung Lee
Magazine Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, was born in November 3, 1949 in London, England to a family with considerable wealth. She was the oldest child. Her father, Charles Wintour was an editor for the London Evening Standard and her mother, Elinor Wintour, was a philanthropist.
From her early age, she demonstrated her interest in fashion and she did everything her own way. During North London Collegiate School, she wore skirts taken up at the hemlines to rebel against the school’s dress code. The is also when she first bobbed her hair, a style she still maintains. In 1970, she began her first career in fashion journalism. She was hired as an editorial assistant for Harper’s & Queen.
In 1975, she moved to New York City to take over as a junior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar. Soon after she left Harper’s to work for Viva, a womens' adult magazine started by Kathy Keeton who managed Penthouse. At Viva, she started to reveal her own sense of fashion and direction and became a high-end managing editor.
In 1980, for a short period of time, she worked for Savvy, a new womens’ magazine appealing to career-conscious professional women who spend their own money. The next year, she became a fashion editor of New York. There, her work finally started attracting attention.
In 1986, she married David Shaffer, South African psychiatrist and returned back to London to serve British Vogue as a chief editor. In 1987, she returned to New York to work for House & Garden. Due to its rival Architectural Digest, the company wanted to give her a chance to improve it. She made radical changes on HG, but the changes didn’t make the magazine’s financial situation any better.
She didn’t stay at HG too long. About a year later in 1988, she became an editor for Vogue. As an editor, she made innovative changes, such as adding articles about women in politics and street culture. She also called an end to the supermodel era. She picked celebrities for covers with mix low-end fashion items. She introduced not only well-known designers but also newer designers and their styles.
In recent years, she has become a powerful broker between designers and retailers. She is very competitive like all people who represent the best of what they do. Although she developed a reputation for being cold and aloof, she is a sweet mother of two kids at home and seeks perfection in her profession.