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Harold Ernest Long Standing Bear Chief Gray

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Harold Ernest Long Standing Bear Chief Gray Obituary
BROWNING - Harold Ernest Gray, Long Standing Bear Chief, 68, of Browning, a longtime teacher and advocate of Indian causes, died Saturday at a Browning hospital, of heart failure and complications from diabetes.
A wake is in progress at Glacier Wake Center in Browning, where a traditional Blackfeet prayer service is 2 p.m. Wednesday. Whitted Funeral Chapel of Cut Bank is in charge of arrangements.
Long Standing Bear Chief was born Nov. 9, 1941, in Browning, Mont., to Ernest and Josie (McKay) Gray. He attended Browning schools and graduated in 1960 from Browning High School. He went on to the University of Montana, where he received his bachelor's and master's degrees, and was an original founder of the Indian Students Association's Kyi Yo Club, which he named. He also attended the University of Minnesota, where he pursued a doctorate degree.
Harold spent many years as an educator. His professional career included work as a high school and college instructor, as the first director of Indian Studies at the University of Montana; director of the Chippewa Cree Tribal Research Program at Rocky Boy, Mont.; Head Start director, Browning, Mont.; and educator with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Education Department in Lame Deer, Mont. As president of Bear Chief and Associates, a consulting firm he operated with his twin brother, he provided technical assistance to many tribes, tribal programs and schools throughout the U.S.
Long Standing Bear Chief spent a great deal of his career as a freelance author, historian and traditional artist. He was often sought after by people for information and knowledge regarding tribal history, traditions and laws regarding indigenous people, their governments and their rights.
Long Standing Bear Chief taught his children to be proud of their Indian ancestry as well as to celebrate their diverse ethnic backgrounds. He was an enrolled Blackfeet but also claimed Chippewa/Cree, Mohawk, French and Scottish ancestry. But above all else, he was a fighter for indigenous causes. In his last years he worked hard on the constitutional reform for the Blackfeet Nation, seeing it as an opportunity to leave a beautiful legacy for generations to come.
Long Standing Bear Chief is survived by his six children, Nicole Gray, Dr. Ernest Gray (Denise), Elizabeth Pepion (Mike), Margaret Boyer (Bob), Alex Gray and Celina Gray; his ex-wife Susan Brown Gray, his twin brother Gerald J. Gray Sr. (Joanne); brother Darryl M. Gray (JoAnn); his sister, Marilyn F. Gray; and nine grandchildren.
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Published in Great Falls Tribune on Sept. 28, 2010
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