"Elouise Cobell represented the indelible will and strength of Indian Country and her influence and energy will be greatly missed. Her passing on from this world must be honored by reaffirming our resolute commitment as Indigenous peoples to protect the rights of our citizens and our sovereign nations," said Keel, President of NCAI, the nation's oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organization. "NCAI joins all who mourn the loss of this great individual. She committed her life to strengthening Indian Country and she contributed greatly.
"From her life, we have lessons of resilience and commitment, and in her passing, we have lessons that will inspire us to continue improving the health of Native people," continued Keel. "Just like Elouise taught us, we must not shy away from taking on what seems impossible. We must acknowledge cancer's vicious assault on Indian Country's most valuable resource, our people. We will honor her with a promise to the future generation of leaders that follow in Elouise Cobell's footsteps, to continue the fight for the health of our people."
—Jefferson Keel, President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)