Earl Old Person

Earl Old Person

BROWNING, Mont. - The longest serving elected tribal official in the U.S., Earl Old Person, died Wednesday at the Blackfeet Community Hospital after a long battle with cancer.

In 1952 Earl was elected to the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council and served for over 60 years while serving as Chairman for over 50 years. During this time, Earl met many dignitaries including the British Royal Family, the Shah of Iran, every U.S. President since Dwight Eisenhower and other world leaders.
 
In 1978, the hereditary chieftainship was bestowed upon Earl by the family of the late Jim White Calf.
 
He was an orator and leader for the Blackfeet People, the Blackfoot Confederacy and Indian People across the U.S. and Canada.
 
“The Blackfeet People have suffered a huge loss today with the passing of Chief Old Person. 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,” Public Information Officer James McNeely wrote in a release.
 
Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines wrote the following statements on Twitter after hearing word:
 
"Today, Sharla and I mourn the loss of a great man and a dear friend, Chief Earl Old Person. Chief Old Person was a fierce advocate for the Blackfeet Nation and all of Indian Country for his entire life, and the world is a better place because he was in it. He will never be replaced, and we are holding his loved ones and the Blackfeet people in our hearts," Sen. Tester wrote.
 
"I was saddened to hear the news of Chief Earl Old Person passing away. He was a great Montanan and a great American. My prayers are with his family, friends and the entire Blackfeet Nation. It was an honor to know him," Sen. Daines wrote.
 
At this time services are pending.

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