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Hazel Red Bird knew what she wanted in life

Glí Yunké Win, Comes Home To Stay Woman, was named after her grandmother, who followed Lalá Thathánka Íyotaka (Chief Sitting Bull) to Canada and then returned to settle for good on the newly-created Standing Rock Agency in 1881. She was a descendant of Phizí (Chief Gall), head of the Khangíska band of Húnkpapha, and one of the first Episcopal converts on Standing Rock. Her grandparents were Maurice Bearsheart Shoots The Bear, Maggie (Iron Horn) Shoots The Bear, William Red Bird, and Glí Yunké Win. Her parents were Samuel Red Bird and Susan (Shoots The Bear) Red Bird.
Hazel was born at home in Wakpala and attended St. Elizabeth’s Mission School, where she learned English, and went on to Wakpala High School. She left Standing Rock in 1944 to enlist in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp, was trained in Pierre, and served in the Women’s Air Corp (WAC) during World War II. She did not deploy to theater but remained dedicated to the field of medicine and nursing for many decades. She served in multiple capacities and administrative positions and retired after 45 years of serving the public health as a nurse and EMT. Based on her experience as a nurse, she believed that Native people had different bodies and should be further researched. She deeded her body to University of North Dakota School of Medicine for the betterment of Native people and science.
As a young girl, she was given a beating turtle heart and was told that if she eats it, she would live a long time and would become a deacon. She was ordained as an Episcopal Deacon in June 2004 at St. John of the Divine in Burlington, Wis., and returned to Lakota Territory in 2006 to serve as a Deacon of the Cheyenne River Episcopal Mission in Eagle Butte. In many ways, Glí Yunké Win lived in two worlds, as the only member of her family to leave the reservation in her generation. It was her lifelong mission to create a bridge of understanding between her Christian faith and the Lakota way of life. She was always grateful for her education and upbringing, and would share her wisdom with those who listened, especially the youth. When she returned home at 83 years old, she was known to attend cultural and youth events throughout the community and was a strong supporter of young Lakota language learners as well as of her home church, St. Elizabeth’s.
In her early years, she loved bowling, swimming, cross-country skiing, and was an avid golfer- her favorite golfing memory was getting a hole-in-one. She enjoyed crafting and attending community and cultural events. She was creative, witty, strong-willed, sharp, and knew what she wanted in life. She adapted to any challenge in life and would not let anyone stop her, even driving her car until she was 92 years old. She lived a full life and touched many hearts. She treasured her Niobrara Wócekiye Wówapi, and enjoyed listening to Lakota hymns. She travelled all over the United States and lived in Cuba in the late 1940s, before settling in Wisconsin. She lived her last decade between Eagle Butte, Fort Yates, N.D., and Mandan, N.D.
She was the last living of her nine siblings, and although she did not have any children, in the Lakota way she was adopted as a grandma and auntie to many. She requested that her obituary state that she is “survived by the Standing Rock reservation”. Mitakuye Oyasin. A memorial service will be held at her home church and elementary school, St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, Wakpala, on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, at 1 p.m. a meal will follow at the Wakpala District Buidling.
Eastgate/Parkway Funeral Service of Bismarck, N.D., was entrusted with the arrangements.