HUNGRY WOLF, OkanPosted: August 10th, 2016
OKAN HUNGRY WOLF made his departure for home to the happy hunting grounds on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at the age of 43 years. He chose to go soar with the eagles in the mountains he so loved.
Left to cherish his memory are his parents Beverly (John) and Adolf Hungry Wolf, his children Sunny Rain and Azalea, his siblings Niq (Shaun), Wolf (Brenda), Iniskim (Quindy), Star (Pat), Shane (Sherry) and adopted siblings Vern and Paulette.
Okan was born June 25, 1973 and lived his years between the family homestead near Skookumchuck, B.C., and the Blood Reserve where family and ceremonies often called. He was raised in a household rich with his culture. His upbringing, surrounded by nature, influenced Okan’s lifelong love of living as one with the natural environment. His home was the many camps he made throughout the countryside often accompanied only by his horses and dogs. Okan was proud, quiet and deep of spirit, humble and respectful of others.
His formal education was achieved through home schooling by his parents and throughout his lifetime he continued learning teachings of niitsi’tapi – the real people. He was first painted by Willie Scraping White Makkoi’yapii who gave him the name Matsi’staayo’towa. He was painted by numerous noted elders. As a child he spent much time with Moka’kin (Pat Weasel Head). He began receiving transfers of various rites at the tender age of three, when he became a nii’namskaan, receiving the sacred topknot for the Mountain Medicine Pipe. He was transferred a straight-up headdress by Tom Morning Owl, a weasel shirt by Larry Plume and numerous other sacred articles. At the age of 12, he became co-owner with his family of the Beaver Medicine Bundle. At 23, he sat holy with Itsspo’wanaato’ komi / Stella Tallman for the Okan, or Medicine Lodge at the Kainaiwa Sun Dance, a partnership for six Medicine Lodges. For 12 years, he learned the Okan ceremony with Pi’kunii Sun Dance leader Mike Swims Under, who also transferred him rights to the Kit Fox Society, when Mike became his grandfather. Okan also learned the songs for the Thunder Medicine Pipes and Beaver Bundles and throughout his lifetime helped his father lead these ceremonies. He also partook in Brave Dogs Society for many years. At Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, he was given a corn planting ceremony by adopted grandfather Pat Romero, with whom he spent much time while learning their ways. Okan loved the mountains. He grew up in them and spent much of his life hiking, climbing, riding, guiding and establishing camp sites. He referred to himself as ‘a Survivalist Technician’ and prided himself in being able to live in the mountains in a tipi at any time of the year. He was a skilled huntsman and archer. He had expert knowledge of the fauna and plant life native to this land, as he learned from his studies at the Universities of Lethbridge and British Columbia. While studying at UBC, he designed his own course, titled ‘Native Ecology’ and used this knowledge as he worked for the Blood Tribe Lands Department. During his employment with tribal lands, he carried out various research for extended periods at the Timber Limits/Beebe Flats from where he led excursions and summited Chief Mountain many times.
He was an artist both drawing and painting; a craftsman using traditional Blackfoot materials and design. He was also a photographer, videographer, illustrator and writer, co-authoring several books with his father and accompanied him on many journeys throughout the world. Among his passions were cars, trains, sail boating and fishing. He was a singer of ceremonial songs and an old time Chicken Dancer, spending many hours with his Uncle Tony Black Water practicing dance moves. With his younger brother, Iniskim, he learned about life, working together at jobs such as bee keeping, logging, horse training, inventing and building. They recently competed with their horses in Indian relay races and worked as extras in numerous films and television programs. He was a snowboarder and an avid runner, covering vast distances on the reserve. He ran many marathons and at the last Moonlight Run, won a silver medal. Recently, he was Interpreter and Wagoneer at Fort Whoop-Up in Lethbridge.
Okan was often seen traversing Standoff in his wagon behind his team of Spanish Mustangs while surrounded by many children and dogs. He will be forever missed by his children whom he loved beyond words. He leaves behind family and friends with whom he left a lasting impression. The loss of Okan imparts one to live life fully and love with no bounds in the fragility of life.
Okan was predeceased by his paternal grandparents Adolf Gutohrlein, Elsa and Irvin Couch, his maternal grandparents Edward & Ruth Little Bear and his bro Jude Creighton. He is survived by his uncles Morris, Leroy (Amethyst) and Gary (Lisa), his Aunt Erika and family in Germany, nieces and nephews Shelby, Sarah, Rope, Jaxon, Danika, Cash, Aliyah, Dusty, Jake, Winona, Natanik, Teresa, Austin, Jackie and Dallas, relatives from families of Heavy Head, Day Chief, Heavy Runner, Knife, Hunt, Bebee, McDonald, Low Horn, Fox, Eagle Plume and Weasel Head, his Blackfoot family, Bird Rattler, Bull Plume, Boy, Little Plume, Kicking Woman and Kipp/Davis, Crow family the Alden’s, families from the Okan, Beaver Bundle and Ni’naamskaan, special friends Kevin Healy, Matt Bruised Head, Brad Hamlett, Lige Bruised Head, John Bergenske, Cliff Grant, Dexter Healy, Tim Brown Weasel, Roy Bare Shin Bone, Brian Wadsworth, Alvin Many Chiefs, Orlando Calling Last, Blair Orr, John Day Rider, Jessie DeRocher, Lenny and James Eagle Tailfeathers, his friends from the Lands Department, his guiding buddies and his homeboys from Canal Flats and Cranbrook area. Okan’s family sincerely apologizes if anyone was missed as Okan had numerous family and friends, all of whom are so very appreciated.
A Family Service will be held at CORNERSTONE FUNERAL HOME – 2800 Mayor Magrath Drive South, Lethbridge, AB on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 4:00 P.M.
A Wake Service will follow at GLADSTONE HALL – Blood Reserve, AB from 6:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.
A Funeral Service will be held at GLADSTONE HALL on Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 1:00 P.M.
To send a condolence, please visit www.cornerstonefuneralhome.com