Blackfeet Tribal Chairman Ousted in Elections

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – Longtime Blackfeet Tribal Chairman Earl Old Person was ousted in tribal elections Tuesday.

Unofficial election results show Henry Butterfly received 1,860 votes to Old Person’s 999 in the Browning District to win a spot on the Tribal Business Council.

Butterfly said he won because voters wanted change.

Old Person is also the tribe’s chief.

Butterfly says council members will choose a new tribal chairman from among the nine members of the council on July 12, the same day new members are sworn into office.

Blackfeet voters also added a separation of powers to their 73-year-old charter, establishing executive, legislative, judicial, traditional and ethical branches of tribal government. The referendum passed with 2,322 “yes” votes to 454 “no” votes.