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Cheyenne Elder Stories

These are Cheyenne friends that Father Emmett has known, including Cheyenne elders for whom the Heritage Living Center was built.

The Cheyenne elders couldn't wait to move in! Before construction began in August 2000, a group of elders gathered around the building model display, vying for rooms with the best view of the Tongue River Valley. Excitement grew when they toured the building and saw the apartments, dining room, library, chapel, activity rooms and the beautiful views of their homeland.

Clarence 'Bisco' Spotted Wolf
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Clarence "Bisco" Spotted Wolf
Clarence "Bisco" Spotted Wolf,
Chief of the Northern Cheyenne Council of Forty-Four
"Bisco" was one of the first elders to move into the Heritage Living Center. The grandson of a famous chief, Bisco was the "guiding light" of the Center.
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William Yellow Robe
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William Yellow Robe
William Yellow Robe was the last Cheyenne Scout. Father Emmett first met him in 1954 when he first came to St. Labre Mission. Yellow Robe must have been over 90 years old but he remained tall and husky with broad shoulders.
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Dr. John Woodenlegs, Northern Cheyenne Visionary
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William Yellow Robe
Dr. John Woodenlegs died in 1981 at the age of 71 years. The visionary leader had worked as a cowboy, road worker, coal miner and rancher. He also served as president of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe from 1955-1968. He founded Dull Knife Memorial College, a two-year community college located at Lame Deer, Montana. "Education is the key to our future," he once said.
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Donald Hollowbreast, Journalist and Artist
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Donald Hollowbreast, Journalist and Artist
Donald Hollowbreast lived a traditional Cheyenne life, yet with only an eighth-grade education, he became a successful journalist and artist, an amazing feat since Donald was deaf. He was our first Northern Cheyenne donor. Donald made various suggestions that we incorporated into the Heritage Living Center.
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Eddie and Regina Foote, Dedicated Couple, with one of their granddaughters
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Eddie and Regina Foote, Dedicated Couple, with one of their granddaughters
Eddie and Regina Foote were dedicated to each other and to helping the Northern Cheyenne community. Regina needed dialysis 3 times a week. Each roundtrip was 250 miles, so we quickly converted a small building at St. Labre into a dialysis center. That small dialysis center meant a lot to Regina and to other members of the community. It was also our first step towards providing Assisted Living to elderly Northern Cheyenne.
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Mae Medicine Bird, Wife of Homer Medicine Bird
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Mae Medicine Bird, Wife of Homer Medicine Bird
Mae Medicine Bird was ill when Father Emmett entered her cabin. Her body was drawn in pain and her face ashen. Several days had passed since she fell backwards off the porch, breaking her hip. If ever there was a need for an Assisted Care Center, it was for this 80-year old lady who died from her injury.
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Harold Fisher, Father Emmett's Good Friend
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Harold Fisher, Father Emmett's Good Friend
Harold Fisher grew old but he still liked to drive to town for supplies. He couldn't afford an engine heater so during the winter when it was freezing cold, he got up every now and then and went out to start his car to make sure the engine didn't freeze. One morning, they found Harold a few feet from his back door. He had frozen to death.
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Rose Medicine Elk, Last Member of the Women's Quillwork Society
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Eddie and Regina Foote, Dedicated Couple, with one of their granddaughters
Rose Medicine Elk created the most beautiful Cheyenne beadwork that Father Emmett had ever seen. Crippled with arthritis and with her eyesight failing, she beaded necklaces, earrings, coin purses and buckskin dresses. Rose was beading the day that she passed away in 2001.
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Eleanor Two Bulls, Foster Mother
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Eleanor Two Bulls, Foster Mother
Eleanor Two Bulls sits in her home a few months before she died. She filled her cabin with love and compassion, taking in her own children and grandchildren, as well as foster children - anyone who was hungry and in need of love.
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Melvin Woodenthigh
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Melvin Woodenthigh
Even though Melvin Woodenthigh is no longer with us, he was like part of our family at the Heritage Living Center. He joined our family when he came to eat with us on Thanksgiving Day [2002]. He planned to become a resident after seeing the doctor.
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John Stands in Timber
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John Stands in Timber
For many years the respected historian of the Northern Cheyenne tribe, John Stands in Timber co-authored the book, Cheyenne Memories, with Margot Liberty. He served in many tribal government positions until his death in 1967.
Frank Rowland
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Frank Rowland
Frank Rowland is a welcome resident at the Heritage Living Center as he keeps everybody laughing. This is perhaps the most important survival trait handed down from the best of the old-time interpreters - men who could use humor to break the ice between cultures.
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Roger Knows His Gun, Country Western Singer
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Roger Knows His Gun, Country Western Singer
Roger Knows His Gun worked for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe for 30 years before suffering a heart attack and a stroke. With physical therapy, he regained his mobility and provides enjoyment to the elders by playing his guitar.
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Carl Braine, From Sitting Bull's Tribe
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Carl Braine, From Sitting Bull's Tribe
Carl Braine served in the Pacific in WWII, then built up a trucking business that lasted 20 years. About the Heritage Living Center, Carl says: "I know everybody who works and lives here and I love it!".
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Bessie Standing Elk Harris, Courageous Northern Cheyenne Woman
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Bessie Standing Elk Harris, Courageous Northern Cheyenne Woman
Bessie Standing Elk Harris the daughter of Northern Cheyenne Chief Eugene Standing Elk, became a respected leader and roll model for generations of young Cheyenne women.
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Al Ghost Bull
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Al Ghost Bull
Al Ghost Bull is a distinguished US Navy veteran who lost his eyesight to glaucoma. He thanks the Lord every day for bringing him to the Heritage Living Center.
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Maggie One Bear
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Maggie One Bear
Maggie One Bear was the last surviving granddaughter of Chief Dull Knife or Wohehiv the 'Morning Star'.
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Eleanor Starving Bear Bigfoot, Rich in love
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Eleanor Starving Bear Bigfoot, Rich in love
Eleanor Starving Bear Bigfoot worked hard all of her life to raise her 14 childen and grandchildren when her husband died young, her daughter suffered a stroke and her son was killed in the Korean war. She was poor in money, but rich in love.
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