Blackfeet Elect Four New Tribal Councilors

Chief Old Person loses reelection bid; new members to be sworn in this week

By Justin Franz

Four new Blackfeet Tribal Business Council members will be sworn in this week and a new chairman, vice chairman and secretary will be selected during a ceremony on July 14.

The new members were elected during the tribe’s general election on June 28.

Timothy “Kink” Davis narrowly beat incumbent Chief Earl Old Person, the 87-year-old honorary leader of the tribe who has served 26 terms on the tribal council since 1954, to represent Browning District 1.

Terry J. Tatsey beat Reynalda St. Goddard to represent Heart Butte District 5, a seat currently held by former State Rep. Forrestina Calf Boss Ribbs, who was bested in the primary.

Carl D. Kipp beat Stacey A. Gilham to represent Seville District 7, a seat currently held by William “Bill” Old Chief who was also beat in the primary election in early June.

In Old Agency District 9, Roland F. Kennerly won re-election over Jody A. Guardipee. Kennerly was appointed to the tribal council earlier this year to replace councilwoman Cheryl Little Dog who was expelled for allegedly harboring a fugitive who had sexually assaulted a child.

Traditionally, the new council members are sworn in on the first day of North American Indian Days, but Chairman Harry Barnes said someone had previously misinterpreted the Blackfeet Constitution and the ceremony is actually supposed to take place on the second Thursday of July. The inauguration will take place in front of tribal headquarters on July 14 at 12 p.m. Immediately after, the new council will meet to select a new chairman, vice chairman and secretary.

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