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BIA won't pick sides in Blackfeet dispute

By Associated Press
Published On: Nov 19 2013 01:20:19 PM MST
OTD March 11 - Bureau of Indian Affairs

Bureau of Indian Affairs

1824: The United States Department of War creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs, then known as the Office of Indian Affairs, with Thomas L. McKenney appointed as the first head of the office.

HELENA, Mont. -

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs says it is not picking sides in a Blackfeet Tribal Business Council dispute that has left the tribe without a functioning government or the ability to pay its bills.
    
The dispute has created an impasse, with two factions of the council asserting its legitimacy. One side consists of council members Shannon Augare (OH'-zhair), Leonard Guardipee (GAR'-dip-ee), Roger Running Crane and Earl Old Person.
    
The other faction is led by Chairman Willie Sharp Jr. It includes Forrestina Calf Boss Ribs and three previously suspended members whom Sharp unilaterally reinstated: Paul McEvers, Bill Old Chief and Cheryl Little Dog.
    
BIA spokeswoman Nedra Darling tells the Great Falls Tribune that it recognizes all nine members and not factions. She says the solution must come from the council.