Heather Victoria Eastman
Thu, 10/19/2017 - 10:58am admin
Heather Victoria Eastman, Bilichilii waa`aaitchile, “Lucky with the Peyote Moon,” her Indian name given to her by Tilton Old Bull, began her journey to the other side camp on Oct. 9, 2017. She was named after Victoria Bad Bear with whom she shared a loving bond. Heather was a member of the Big Lodge Clan, child of the Piegan Clan and a member of the Night Hawk Society. Heather was born on Oct. 26, 1984 in Crow Agency to Cheryl Big Day Nedens and Edward Eastman.
Heather was raised by her paternal grandparents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Mervin Eastman in Crow Agency and Wind River, Wyo. She went to school on the Crow Reservation and Wind River reservation and graduated from Lodge Grass High School in 2003.
Heather was an athlete in her high school years and excelled in Indian Club, where she was chosen to be the Black Lodge District Princess in 2002 and held the title of Miss Crow Nation 2004. She won at many powwows throughout Indian Country and was escorted by Randy and the late Jessica Phelan. Heather was a very humble lady with a keen sense of humor. She loved teasing with her Piegan children, brothers and sisters. She was relentless in teasing her brother-in-laws and had no mercy for her sisters’ spouses, and simply enjoyed life.
The highlight of her life was her love of the traditional Crow way of life; she enjoyed singing, dancing and participating in cultural events and ceremonies. She excelled in Crow hand games in various districts and won the “best designer” for the Black Lodge District in 2010. She has been an historical War Bonnet carrier for the Black Lodge District Women’s War Bonnet Society, given to her by Mary Louise LaForge.
Heather worked for the Crow Tribe in various departments, before moving to Mandaree, N.D. with her adopted parents Randy and the late Jessica Phelan. She eventually found the love of her life Dovey Likes Eagle and they made their home in New Town, N.D. She also had beloved animal, Tiberius “Killer” Likes Eagle. Heather, Lois Chapin, Lisa Young Bird-Murphy and Sherry Gillette won the women’s 2012 North Dakota State Dart Tournament.
Heather enjoyed various community events; she was a member of the Native American Church and attended church in New Town. Heather had made friendships throughout her travels and kept her friends close.
A special thanks to all who acknowledged Heather and became a part of her life: friend-sisters Billie Jo Gillette, Stephanie Gillette, Lisa Young Bird-Murphy, Monica Stiffarm, Willamina Old Crow, Carleen Johnson, Olanda Knows the Ground, Rhonda “Pow-Wow” Jefferson, Iris Jackson, Brandi Phelan and Kallie Hugs. Your love and friendship for our daughter, granddaughter, sister and auntie will forever be in our hearts.
Her grandparents Raymond Big Day Sr., Elizabeth Stewart and Lynette Not Afraid; great-grandparents Elizabeth Spotted-Door, Cyril Not Afraid, Henry Big Day and Minerva Ball-Big Day, Mervin Eastman and Darlene Bad Bear Eastman, and Baby Brother Kyle Eastman proceeded her in death.
She is survived by the love of her life Dovey; parents Cheryl (Carl) Nedens and Edward (Dorcella) Eastman; brothers Jeremy “Squish” and Perry Eastman; sister Teffany Eastman; maternal grandmothers Linda Bulltail and Doris Plainfeather; maternal grandfathers Kenneth Spotted, Heywood Big Day Sr., John Bullinsight, Joseph Bear Cloud and Buster Leider; paternal grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Little Light, Buster Brien, Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie Eastman and Mary Louise Laforge; uncles Carl Eastman and Billy Ray Eastman; aunts Mervalene Eastman, Alvileen Buffalo Bulltail and Margaret Littlelight; maternal uncle Raymond Big Day Jr.; maternal aunts Micheallynn Iron, Suzette Spang and Billie Two Leggins; adopted father Randy Phelan; adopted mother Iris Jackson; adopted siblings Amberly Shigley, Pixie Real Bird, Lanissa Don’t Mix, Karston Walks over the ice, Tone Tonez, Jude, Adele, Martha and Brandy Phelan, and Leo and James Cummins; her special niece and nephew Carlyssa and Mervin Jeremy; godparents John Lee and Fonda Red Fox; as well as her extended families Big Day, Bullinsight, Spotted, Iron, Not Afraid, Backbone, Left Hand, Pretty on Top, Bad Bear, Eastman, Jackson-Dancing Bulls, Phelan and Young Birds of North Dakota, Cummins, Sees the Ground, Other Blackbird, Franklin and Mae House family, and Melvin and Elsie Pretty Paint families.
Funeral mass was celebrated Monday in the Crow Agency St. Dennis Catholic Church. Interment followed in the Crow Agency Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary was entrusted with arrangements.