The Browning resident led a 15-year class-action lawsuit against the federal government that resulted in a $3.4 billion settlement approved by Congress late last year.
Cobell and the other plaintiffs sued the government for mismanaging the royalties of hundreds of thousands of individual Native American landowners.
Cobell and eight others will receive honorary degrees from Dartmouth at the college's June 12 commencement. Other recipients will include former President George H.W. Bush, comedian Conan O'Brien, actress Ruby Dee and New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.