Earl Old Person, Sr.
Blackfeet Nation

2022 – Government

Earl Old Person, Blackfeet Nation, was the longest-serving elected tribal official in Indian Country. In 1954, Old Person was the youngest person ever elected to the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. Ten years later, he was elected chairman of the council, and reelected for 16 more terms between 1964 and 2008. As chairman, Old Person advocated for business interests as well as land and water rights, spearheading the opening of a community college, bank, and casino on the Blackfeet reservation. He was the embodiment of tribal history and cultural preservation. Old Person was president of the National Congress of American Indians and was named Outstanding Indian of the Year in 1977 by the Chicago Indian Council.