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Longtime Blackfeet chief and chairman passes away at 92

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Blackfeet Nation/Blackfeet Tribal Business Council

Earl Old Person, the longest serving elected tribal official in the United States, passed away today at Blackfeet Community Hospital after a long battle with cancer.

Old Person was elected to the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council in 1952 and served for over 60 years while serving as chairman for over 50 years. During this time, Old Person met many dignitaries including every U.S. President since Dwight Eisenhower, the British royal family, the Shah of Iran and other world leaders.

In 1978, the family of the late Jim White Calf bestowed the hereditary chieftainship to Old Person.

Old Person was an orator and leader for the Blackfeet People, the Blackfoot Confederacy and Indian people across the United States and Canada.

“The Blackfeet People have suffered a huge loss today with the passing of Chief Old Person,” wrote James McNeely, public information officer for the Blackfeet Tribe in a statement. “A chapter in our history has come to a close. The Blackfeet Tribe offers prayers and support to the family of Earl at this time.”

Services are pending.

Contact James McNeely:

Public Information Officer

Blackfeet Tribe

(406) 338-3513

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