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Old Person, Longtime Blackfeet Chief, dies at 92

Staff Report | October 14, 2021 8:35 AM

Longtime Blackfeet Chief and Chairman Earl Old Person has died at age 92, the tribe announced Wednesday evening.

A press release from the tribe said Old Person died of cancer Wednesday at Blackfeet Community Hospital.

Old Person was the longest serving elected tribal official in the U.S., according to the tribe. He was elected to the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council in 1952 and served for over 60 years while serving as Chairman for over 50 years.

“The Blackfeet People have suffered a huge loss today with the passing of Chief Old Person,” the press release stated. “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.”

According to the tribe, Old Person met 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.

The press release noted that Old Person was an “orator and leader for the Blackfeet People, the Blackfoot Confederacy, and Indian People across the United States and Canada.”

Services for Old Person are pending.