Publisher evicted from tribe’s building
MONTANA — In late November, construction workers boarded up a tribally owned building that housed offices used by the publisher of a small newspaper in Browning, effectively locking him out, after he questioned activities of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council, according to an Associated Press report.
Tom McKay, job printer and publisher of “Through the Eyes of an Indian,” received an eviction notice in mid-November. The business council had previously approved his five-year lease, which has four years to run. McKay’s company and his seven employees are out of business, he added.
Early Old Person, chairman of the tribal council, stated in mid-November that McKay received the eviction notice to make way for a community cultural and entertainment center, the Associated Press reported. However, Old Person also noted that some council members and Browning residents had “mixed feelings about this paper,” the AP reported.
The Great Falls Tribune reported that McKay believes members of the community may be upset over articles he wrote about the “home project,” a tribal project for low-income renters and articles about gasoline distribution on the Blackfeet Reservation. The stories covered alleged improprieties in the project and in the council’s decision making.
McKay is looking for another company to produce his paper and considering legal options, according to the AP.