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Tasheena Christina Tish Craft
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Birth: Jan. 31, 1989, USA
Death: May 29, 2007
Lake County
Montana, USA

Tasheena Christina Tish Craft

ARLEE - Adventuresome and fun-loving Tasheena Christina Tish "Sheena" Craft was born Jan. 31, 1989.

She shared good times with her special Daddy, the late William "Porky" Alexander. Her life was richly rewarded and she was a friend to many. Sheena loved traveling to powwows all over Indian Country where she danced jingle, traditional and fancy dance styles. She tried them all, and was a drummer and singer in her families' Sunrise drum group. She also sang with Firestone and the late Pat Kennedy's drum group from Browning. In Spokane, she helped the young Medicine Academy drum group and gave them a special song known as the "Mary Jane Song." Some people called her the "Jammer." Her loud voice dynamically carried the spirit of the drum onward where she would do some awesome powerful leads.

She went to school in Arlee, Two Eagle River School in Pablo and the Many Eagle Hearts School at her family home. Then her curiosities brought her to Spokane, where she lived with Shonto and Venessa Pete and her nephew. There she learned the responsibilities of motherhood where she baby-sat nephew Ashkii. She also enrolled in the Medicine Wheel Academy and found a school loaded with subjects that interested her. She befriended Savannah and many other students at school there.

Back home in Arlee, she had left her friends Marlene, Cindy, Cooper, Carolyn, Joselyn, Frank Trisha Jo and many more. She also had a good friend Tyler Vale, for whom Sheena had a special place in her heart. He was home on leave from Iraq.

Throughout all of this, Sheena was due to graduate from the Medicine Wheel Academy in June. She met with an untimely death on Tuesday, May 29, 2007, in Arlee.

Her classmates from the Medicine Wheel Academy attended her wake services in Arlee and brought with them an honorary diploma awarded to her by the Spokane School District. So her passing did not prevent achieving her goal, which was to get a high school diploma.

Her favorite history teacher, Dave Brown Eagle, gave the keynote address as her diploma was passed from student to student and to family members, and then back to her. Brown Eagle said Sheena had knowledge of her ways and she practiced them. She found her power and acknowledged it. He also said he will honor her by how he walks and Sheena is going to be a part of our lives forever, so we should conduct ourselves with respect.

We will miss her tremendously. Words cannot express how deeply Sheena was loved by her friends and family. Her youngest sister, Shayla, will remember when she and Sheena put lipstick all over their faces and it stayed on for three days. Her older sister, Crystal, will always remember finding her suntan lotion missing, discovering Sheena and Shayla sliding through it all over the floor. The girls will remember how Sheena's method of checking if the Ramen noodles were done was by throwing one on the ceiling to see if it would stick. The memories recalled from her older brothers are Shonto said she made his dream come true when he could watch her play basketball, and having her with them on the powwow trail was a tremendous memory. Shandin will never forget watching "Aladdin" hundreds of times with her. Natani remembers the day she was born it was more than 20 below zero. They could not get the vehicle unthawed to go pick up mom and baby sis. Tachini remembers when she saw him getting ready to smoke a cigarette at Arlee Powwow. She grabbed it out of his mouth, broke it in half, and threw it to the ground.

Some of her favorite songs were "Umbrella" by Rhianna, P. Diddy featuring Faith Evans "Missing You," Justin Timberlake "What Goes Around Comes Around" and "Summer Love."

Sheena is next to the Creator. Her artistic abilities were expressed when she would draw tattoo art all over her bedroom walls and on her school notebooks. She could also write poetry and sing. She could make you smile even on a cloudy day. Her mother will miss her giggling at the jokes on "Saturday Night Live" or chucking at the humor of Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. In the words of a good Christian pastor, Bob Larson, "The race is over when God says it is over like when He stopped the Indianapolis 500 by a huge rain storm." And "A life doesn't have to be a long one to be a complete one." In a nutshell, a wise Salish elder Johnny Arlee would say, "Shay Hoy!"

In conclusion, Sheena comes from a long line of chiefs. On her maternal side she comes from Mary Keltomy "Sack Woman," Adele Adams, Adeline Fyant (Louie), Yaya PeeWee Vanderburg Christopher and a Minnesota cowboy grandpa, Don Christopher. great-grandparents, Carl and Inga Olsen, who came straight from Norway and spoke their Norwegian language. On her Vanderburg side she descends from "Bear Tracks" who was at the original signing of the Hellgate Treaty. He was famous for his abilities to locate people who were lost. He said that breaking up land is like breaking up a thumbnail. It would have been better to leave it whole. Also there were grandfathers, Mose, Louie and John Vanderburg. On her father's side, she was descended from a long line of hereditary chiefs traced back to the 1700s to Big Hawk, who preceded Chief Three Eagles, who met with Lewis and Clark in 1805. Following Chief Three Eagles was Chief Victor who was the voice for the tribes during the negotiations with the Hellgate Treaty of 1855. Next was Chief Victor's son Chief Charlo, and his son Martin Charlo. Martin's son Chief Antoine Charlo was Sheena's great-grandfather. Antoine Charlo's daughter, Elizabeth Charlo Craft was her grandmother, "Qene," and James "Pat" Craft Sr. was her grandfather. He was of German heritage. She will be forever remembered tenderly by her Great-Auntie, Mary Jane Charlo, for her beauty, sweet spirit and her proud singing at the drum. Other aunties and uncles include Jan Charlo, Janis Craft, Nicole, LeeAnn and Babe Sheridan, Shelly, Jay and Pierre; and great-aunties, Denise, Virginia, Marie, Yaya Frances.

She is survived by her mother, Diana Christopher-Pete-Craft-Cote "WeeZee" u Scnpaqci" and father, James A. Craft Jr. She has left behind a tribe with brothers, Tachini (Malina), Natani (Geraldine), Shandin (Salisha), and Shonto (Vanessa) from the Navajo, Bitterroot Salish and Norwegian and Crow nations; Erik and James Craft III from the Sioux, Salish and German nations in Poplar; Eli Adams (Dana) from the Salish and Kootenai; Anthony Alexander (Charnell Calf Looking) from the Salish and Kootenai tribe; Tatonka Ska Howard (Caroline) and Matt Howard (Angel). Her sisters and spouses include her older sister, Crystal Craft, (JoVaugn) White Hawk from the Bitterroot Salish, German and Sioux nations, and younger sister Shayla Cote-Butterfly, Irish, Dutch German, Chance from the Bitterroot Salish and Kootenai and Norwegian tribes. Older sister, Wilhelmina (James) After Buffalo and adopted sister Jessica Lynn McClure. Her aunties and uncles are Linda Weaselhead (Keon) from Canada, Sandra Christopher from Harlem, the late Randy Christopher, Vernon "Hungry" Christopher (Sharon), Dawn and Rasena Christopher, (Grandma Pearl), Guy Widner, Berta Steele, Lori Weaselhead, Dorothy Finley, Wayne Vanderberg and Melissa Vanderberg. Her great aunts and uncles include Virginia Fyant, Marie Fyant and Liz Pierre, Bobby, Gordon, Benny and Arthur Fyant, Victor Charlo and Pat Pierre. She is also survived by her grandparents, Joe and Alice Cote of Portland, Ore., her "Yaya," Frances Vanderburg and grandmother Val Plant. She had numerous nieces and nephews with the immediate ones being Sitting Bull's descendent, Jayden Whitehawk, Maii, Silye and Susseli Pete, April, Naomi and Shiyazh Pete, Tachini Jr., Kayenta, Stsha and Staan Pete and the famous Ashkii Pete, powwow highway man.

Please forgive me if I left anything out or anyone, it is not intentional.

Condolences may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 74, Arlee, MT 59821.

Published in the Missoulian

Created by: Floral~Lady
Record added: Jun 20, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19989742
Tasheena Christina Tish Craft
Added by: Floral~Lady
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