BROWNING, Mont. – The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council recently announced that per capitas for 2009 will be $200, the largest in decades. In recent years, per capitas for most years have been $50, and never topped $75. Current membership of the Blackfeet Tribe is 16,516 and every enrolled member will receive a $200 check.
“In the last election, voters demanded change and demanded that the new council lead the Blackfeet back to prosperity and accountability. The BTBC has been working long and hard to deliver and we are already showing tremendous results,” said Chairman Willie A. Sharp Jr. “Through very aggressive negotiating by BTBC members and staff, we finalized what is by far the biggest oil deal in the tribe’s history. That same day, the BTBC sat down to strike the right balance between bigger per capitas and paying down debt. As tribal members know, the new council inherited crushing debt from old councils. We didn’t run up the massive debt, but it fell upon us to pay it down, and we have been aggressively doing so. We are proud to say that we are now in a position to pay out record per capitas and continue paying down debt at the same time.”
The $200 per capitas were handed out locally Dec. 14 and mailed the same day to out-of-area members.
“It is with great joy that we are able to share with all Blackfeet members the blessings of our increasing prosperity,” added Vice Chairman Rusty Tatsey. “As a tribe, when anyone is down, we are all down, and as this great tribe fights its way back to pride and prosperity it is important that we are all lifted up together, little by little, steadily and surely.”
“I, along with all BTBC members and tribal staff, am so proud and happy to be able to help make this Christmas a little merrier for all tribal members,” said Secretary TJ Show. “After 40 years of things going from bad to worse, our tribe is finally on a roll: We are quickly making economic and social progress on many fronts, and this is just the beginning of our return to greatness. These are proud and exciting times to be a Blackfeet.”