The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council decided on Monday, July 6, that the formal Inauguration of three incoming and one returning Councilmen will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, at All Chiefs Park.
(See unofficial results of the election on page 11 of this week’s issue.)
As with so many public spectacles, this year’s ceremony on what would have been the initial event of North American Indian Days is taking place in a different location and in a different manner.
“The Council says that because of the pandemic, the safety of everyone is paramount,” Becky Rosenberger of Tribal Documents said. As a result, only family members of the incoming Councilmen will be allowed inside the park although interested people may watch from beyond the fence while maintaining social distancing. There will be no public seating inside the park.
However, folks may also watch the proceedings on the Blackfeet Nation Facebook page, on Starlink’s local channel, or they can listen on KBWB 107.5 FM.
Finally, while the Council recognizes the tradition of having a big feed after the ceremony, this year the feed, as with so many other things, has been canceled.
Unofficial BTBC election results:
Davis re-elected, Last Star, Monroe and Weatherwax top vote-getters
A total of 2,348 votes were cast for four open positions on the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council during the pandemic shutdown. Long vehicle lines converged on the Stick Game building while nearby double lines formed towards Glacier Peaks Casino where coronavirus testing was simultaneously taking place.
When the votes were unofficially tallied, only one incumbent emerged to return to office when Timothy “Kink” Davis overcame challenger James McNeely in the Browning Position #1 race.
The other incumbents did not do so well, with Terry Tatsey being beaten by Virgil Last Star in Heart Butte Position #5. Lauren Monroe was the victor over Carl Kipp in Seville Position #7.
None of the three races were close, with the winners earning more than 61% of the vote.
The final race in Old Agency Position #9 was closer, with both candidates being challengers rather than incumbents. When the dust cleared, Marvin Weatherwax Jr. edged out Tony Sinclair Sr. to win that seat on the BTBC.
The vote totals for each position are listed below in unofficial results.
2020 BTBC unofficial General Election Results
Browning Pos. #1
Timothy Kink Davis- 1,441
James Jim McNeely- 895
Heart Butte Pos. #5
Virgil Last Star-1,438
Seville Pos. #7
Lauren Monroe Jr.-1,543
Carl Kipp- 796
Old Agency Pos. #9
Marvin Weatherwax Jr. 1,274
Tony Sinclair Sr.-1,065