Blackfeet Council Welcomes New Members, Re-elects Chairman

Harry Barnes will serve another two years as leader of Blackfeet Nation

By Justin Franz
Harry Barnes, chairman of the Blackfeet Tribe, pictured May 6, 2015. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The chairman and secretary of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council were re-elected July 14 and a new vice chairman was sworn in at a ceremony in Browning.

Chairman Harry Barnes and Secretary Tyson Running Wolf were selected to serve for two more years as the leaders of the nine-person tribal council. Newly elected member Terry J. Tatsey was selected to serve as vice chairman.

The inauguration came two weeks after the tribe’s general election that saw three new councilors elected and one incumbent hold on to his seat. Among the incumbents who were not re-elected was Chief Earl Old Person. The 87-year-old honorary tribal chief has served 26 terms on the tribal council since 1954.

Timothy “Kink” Davis and Carl D. Kipp were also elected to the council and Roland F. Kennerly was re-elected to represent Heart Butte.

Chairman Barnes was first elected to the tribal council in 2014 following a turbulent period in the tribe’s history where the government was split and a power struggle erupted between two factions of the council. Many believe the split was the result of a flawed government structure. Barnes has been a supportive voice for governmental reform and earlier this summer the tribe sent a revised constitution to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for review.

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