In Memory of Barbara Braided Hair

April 28, 1964 – July 10, 2019

Our beloved mother, Barbara Jean Braided Hair Motse’eoehnehe’e “Sweet Medicine Woman” Taa’eveohtse’e “Walks At Night Woman” started her journey across Seaone on July 10, 2019. Barbara, was born to Edward Foote Jr. and Eva Strange Owl on April 28, 1964. Barbara “Bubbles” was raised in Birney, MT by her maternal grandmother the late Grace Strange Owl. Barbara cherished her time with her grandmother and honored her by carrying on her teachings.

On August 26, 1984, she married Otto Braided Hair Jr., together they raised three children Vanessa (Aaron) Harris, Jessica (Lawrence) Spang and Otto (Amber) Braided Hair III. She was blessed with three grandsons Donald Bishop, Brave Bull Spang, & Roan Nicholas Braided Hair whom she cherished immensely. They were her pride and joy.

If you knew Barbara, you knew she loved her community and joined many organizations to help bring resources and opportunities to her people. Some of those organizations were Cheyenne Children Services, Leadership Montana, Montana State Governor’s Commission on Community Service, Montana Ambassadors, National Indigenous Woman’s Resource Center, Fire Corp (in support of her husband as Director of the Northern Cheyenne Fire Protection Department), Hopa Mountain and People’s Partners for Community Development.

Barbara worked as a Payroll Specialist for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe 5 for years before dedicating nearly 20 years to First Interstate Bank in Lame Deer, MT as the Branch Manager. In the beginning, she quickly recognized that her first language, business and social skills were keys to helping her people. She valued everyone who walked through the bank doors and always offered advice and comfort to all in need. She created many special bonds during her time with First Interstate Bank and was often seen as a pillar in the Cheyenne Community.

Barbara had a remarkable way of managing her home and work life, always putting her Cheyenne way of life at the forefront.

Barbara enjoyed the simple pleasures and made singing and dancing a part of her daily life. Being a self-taught singer, she took pride in learning many important traditional songs, a skill she passed on to her daughters. Always encouraging others to sing by her around the drum.

One of her greatest joys in life was meal preparation. Since she was little, she liked to cook and grew to love planning meals. She was especially honored to participate in preparing the food for ceremonies and special gatherings because she understood the importance of meal preparation within our Cheyenne Culture. She humbly prepared every meal with upmost respect and prayer and believed in its healing power. Every dish was special, and many have felt her love and blessings through her meals.

Barbara looked forward to summer the most because it was time to pick berries and gather, especially at Green Leaf. It was a time for her to travel, meet new people, catch up with old friends and make new friends, something she did so effortlessly.

Barbara carried an energy that caught your attention and an inviting smile that pulled you in. She was such a gentle spirit and beautiful human being. Her life’s work was nothing short of amazing and it will continue, through the teachings she instilled in her children, organizations she built, friendships she fostered and lives she touched.

She was a humble leader and walked with great strength and honor, she instilled those qualities in whomever she met.

Her greatest joy was being a “Ke’ee” grandmother, she loved all her grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family. Her special sisters were DeeWanda Littlecoyote, Sara Mathuin, JuDee Anderson, Stella Ortega and sister-in-law Elizabeth Braided Hair.

Barbara was preceded in death by her father Edward Foote Sr., Grandmother Grace Strange Owl, Brother Clifford “Sonny” Small and Sister Ilona Foote. Extended families include: Redneck, Littlebird, Elkshoulder, Two Two, Seminole, Nightwalker, Sandcrane, Fisher, Fighting Bear, Tallwhiteman, Clubfoote and Medicine Bull. We apologize for not being able to include all families as they are too numerous to mention.