Head Staff Biographies
Chief Earl Old Person
Mr. Earl Old Person, Blackfeet name - Cold Wind (Stu Sapoo) and Charging Home (Ahka Pa Ka Pee), a full blood member of the Blackfeet Tribe, was born April 13, 1929, to Juniper and Molly Old Person, a prominent member of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Earl was raised on the reservation in the community of Starr School where he attended grade school and graduated from Browning High School in Browning, Montana.
The Browning High School Basketball team first played for a State High School Championship Title in 1963 in Great Falls, Montana and Earl was selected to entertain on behalf of the team and the Blackfeet Tribe. This would mark the beginning of many presentations and speaking engagements that Earl would be involved in locally, nationally, and internationally for the Blackfeet Tribes and the American Indian people.
In 1954, Earl was elected to the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council as the youngest member ever to serve in this capacity. In 1964, he was elected Chairman, a position he has held for 16 of the 22 terms he has served on the council, with the exceptions of 1978-1980, 1988-1990, and 1998-2000. Earl became Chief of the Blackfeet Nation in 1978, a lifetime appointment, by family of the late James White Calf, and in 1991, he was inducted into the elite Kainai Chieftainship in Canada.
Earl has also been elected to participate in and lead numerous local, state, national and international organizations including the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest, the National Congress of American Indians, the World Committee to represent the American Indians, the Governors Task Force on Indian Affairs, the National Council of Indian Opportunities, the Board of National Indian Banking Committee, the National Advisory Council on Aging, the task force for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Reorganization, the National Organization “Save the Children,” the conference on United States Security and Soviet Challenge, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Citizens Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunity, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Advisory Committee for Exceptional Children, the Board of Directors for Museum of the Rockies, the National Security Council, and the Board of Directors for the Montana Community Foundation, as well as numerous others.
In 1994, Earl received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from The University of Montana in recognition of his accomplishments and contributions. In 2008, he ended his 50th year as a member of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council and then began the Blackfeet Tribe’s first ever “Archives” Project dedicated to preserving documents of the Blackfeet Tribal Governmental system. Today, Earl leads the Charging Home Society for Pikuni Education and Cultural Preservation Program, which is designed to preserve Blackfeet History and Culture to teach young members about their ancestors.
Kenneth "Tuffy" Helgeson