Tester: Gordon Belcourt ‘leaves big shoes to fill’

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the passing of Gordon Belcourt, the Executive Director of the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council:

“Gordon was a tremendous leader and advocate for Indian Country. A trusted and experienced voice, Gordon could always be counted on to use common-sense to get to the heart of the issue and find a solution. He leaves big shoes to fill, and he will be missed by all Montanans.”

Tester worked with Belcourt on numerous issues to improve Indian Country, including infrastructure projects, permanently reauthorizing the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act, and creating the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Belcourt, who grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation, attended law school at the University of Montana. In addition to serving as the long-time Executive Director of the Tribal Leaders Council, Belcourt helped establish a regional Tribal Institutional Review Board to better protect the rights of Native Americans and pursued numerous initiatives aiming to improve the quality of life in Indian Country.