Earl J. Barbry Sr., the late chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana|
Earl J. Barbry Sr., the longtime chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, died on Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 62.
Barbry was elected chairman in 1978, three years before the tribe won federal recognition. He remained in the post until his passing, making his 35-year tenure one of the longest continuous stretches of leadership in Indian Country.
“He was my chairman and the older brother I never had. He was a gift to the Tunica-Biloxi people," said tribal member Brenda Lintinger. "There will never be someone like him for us ever again. We are so brokenhearted.”
This May, Barbry was presented with the very first Lifetime Achievement Award by the United South and Eastern Tribes. The honor will now carry his name for future generations.
"Chairman Barbry has made a great and lasting impact on many tribes and individuals in Indian Country," USET President Brian Patterson said in a statement. "His leadership, vision, and passion to advance, strengthen, and rebuild tribal nations have set a shining example of unity, empowerment, and compassion."
During his leadership, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe entered the gaming industry, brought housing to the reservation and increases its landholdings. In addition to serving on the USET board, he served on the Louisiana Inter-Tribal Council and helped work toward the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
Services will take place next week at the Mari Center at the Paragon Casino Resort. The viewing will be held Monday, August 5, from 4pm-11pm, and the funeral will take place on Tuesday, August 6, at 11am.
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Tunica's issue official news release on death of Tribal Chairman Barbry
(Avoyelles Today 7/31)
Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Earl Barbry Sr. dies at 62