GREAT FALLS — Memorial arrangements have been announced for Chief Earl Old Person, who died in Browning last Wednesday at the age of 92 after a battle with cancer. He was the longest-serving elected tribal official in the U.S.
Old Person was elected to the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council in 1952 and served for more than 60 years, and served as chairman for more than 50 years. Old Person was an orator and leader for the Blackfeet People, the Blackfoot Confederacy, and Indian People across the United States and Canada.
In 1994, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Montana in recognition of his accomplishments and contributions.
On Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m., Old Person will be brought to the Blackfeet Tribal Conference Room Chambers, where a walk-through viewing will be held. The first hour of viewing will be for family members only.
On Wednesday at 4 p.m., he will be taken to the Browning High School gymnasium where he will lay in state until Friday. On Thursday at 7 p.m., there will be a church service in the gymnasium. On Friday at 11 a.m., there will be a funeral service in the gymnasium.
Governor Greg Gianforte will order all flags flown in the state of Montana to fly at half-staff from Wednesday, October 20, through Friday, October 22, to honor the memory of Chief Old Person.