White Earth Nation Chairman Terry Tebbitts
Published March 18, 2019
WHITE EARTH, Minn. — The White Earth Reservation Business Committee (RBC) is deeply
saddened to announce that Chairman Terrence “Terry” Tibbetts passed away Sunday
morning (March 17) at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, N.D., after a lengthy illness. Chairman Tibbetts was 60.
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 (Minn.) 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
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 RBC offices will be closed on Monday, March 18.
Funeral arrangements are pending.