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Blackfeet Tribe Greenlights New Constitution

Seal of the Blackfeet Nation

The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council has voted to redraft the tribe's constitution.

Council Chairman Harry Barnes says today's 8-1 vote clears the way for the tribe to create a new form of government that would eliminate the tribal council and create elected positions for judge, a president and vice president and a 13-member legislature — all independent from each other.

Barnes says the Blackfeet had been operating under laws contained in the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act.

He says under that form of government, people had no control except for elections every four years. He added that tribal councils routinely interfered with the courts and law enforcement.

The Great Falls Tribune reports the tribal council will hold a series of meetings to inform tribal members about the content of the newly proposed constitution.

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