New tribal chairman questions Old Person payment

Great Falls, Montana (AP) 8-08

The outgoing Blackfeet Tribal Business Council voted to pay ex-Chairman Earl Old Person $100,000 to be the tribe’s ambassador, a move questioned by new Tribal Chairman Willie Sharp Jr.

Sharp questions the timing and motives of the decision. It was made during an impromptu council meeting held by some outgoing and current council members July 8 at the tribal offices in Browning.

The meeting took place two days before newly elected members were sworn in and the chairman and other officials were chosen.

Old Person, who also is the tribe’s chief, says he did not pursue the ambassador job.

Council member Rodney Gervais introduced the resolution and recommended $100,000 for Old Person’s salary, travel costs and other expenses for one year. The six council members present approved the resolution.