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White Earth Nation mourns the passing of Chairman Terry Tibbetts


March 18, 2019

WHITE EARTH, MINN. – Chairman Terrence "Terry" Tibbetts, 60, passed away this morning (March 17) at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, N.D., after a lengthy illness.

Tibbetts was elected Chairman of White Earth Reservation in 2016 and led the largest tribe in Minnesota. He represented all three districts on the reservation and all White Earth enrollees off the reservation. Previously, he was elected as the District II Representative in 2006 and served in the position until 2014.

His given name is Nii-Gah-Nii-Mosay, which means "Walks First." Tibbetts was a traditional lifelong resident of Naytahwaush, Minn. He attended Naytahwaush Elementary School and Mahnomen High School. He has worked more than 35 years with the tribe – 22 of those years were as a dedicated White Earth Public Works employee.

He was married to his wife Carol for more than 40 years, and they have seven children and 15 grandchildren.

District III Representative Eugene "Umsy" Tibbetts is the Vice Chairman, and he will take over the Chairman's duties until further notice.

Out of respect for Chairman Tibbetts, all White Earth Reservation Business Committee offices will be closed on Monday, March 18.

Funeral arrangements are pending.


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