October 3, 4 & 5, 2011 Cobell v. ‘Returning Justice to the Indian People’ Melinda Janko

October 3, 4 & 5 Three Part Series (Crossing over the Bridge) Crossing over the Bridge: Cobell v. ‘Returning Justice to the Indian People’Director Melinda Janko – Founder Fire in the Belly Productions

Melinda’s passion has always been documentaries and she found one in the “broken trust” between the American Indians and the federal government. In 2003 she went looking for a story and found a small article about one woman’s fight for justice for Native Americans whose mineral rich lands were mismanaged by the US Government. Outraged by what she read, she set out on a journey which led to Cobell v., a feature length documentary about Elouise Cobell and the largest class action lawsuit ever filed against the US government.

On December 8, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Cobell Settlement Claims Act for $3.4 billion…a small measure of justice for 500,000 Indian Trust beneficiaries. Melinda Janko is the President of Fire in theBelly Productions, whose mission is to “make films that make a difference.” In 2004 she started the documentaries filming at the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Today, she has 120+ hours of footage shot in 8 states for the feature length documentary, Cobell v.

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