Debra J. "Debbie" Attikai
Graveside services for Debra J. "Debbie" Attikai were held Thursday, June 25, 2020 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery at Stephan, SD.
Debra Jeanette Rencountre Attikai (Wica Duta Win), 61, of Ft. Thompson, SD, journeyed to the spirit world on June 20, 2020 at Chamberlain Care Center in Chamberlain, SD. Debra entered Maka Ina in the Oceti Sakowin Oyate on April 3, 1959 to Thelma Black Tongue and Whitney Rencountre. She was an elder member of the Crow Creek Dakota Tribe.
She was a tomboy as a child and not scared of anything so her Tuwin nicknamed her "Nuisance." She climbed high areas and across creeks so she broke her arm three times, once on a bucking barrel.
She rode horse out to the old house where her Uncle Jack bought her a Shetland Horse. She grew up with her cousins; Theresa, Carol, Tammy, Sharen, Carol, Bonnie, Madonna, Estaline, Larry, Jr, Van, Joe, Allen, Tubbs, Gale, & Jennifer.
When her Tiwahe moved to East End District during the 60's her family became Milly D, Joane/Ione WL, Llewelln BM, Georgianne WB, Jaunita O, & Mary D. She attended school at Ft. Thompson, then Pierre Indian School where her close friends Barbara SJ, Carol POH, and Monica H were the "gang". Her first car was an black/red Dodge Charger she bought with her first paycheck. All of East End would load in the car and go for rides.
She graduated from Southwestern Polytechnical Institute in Albuquerque NM in 1985 with a degree in Office Management. She moved to Aberdeen to work at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She worked at Swift Horse Lodge for a number of years, then the BIA Law Enforcement Assistance. Her last employment was as the Recording Secretary at CCST. She was on the enrollment committee.
She advocated for the sacredness of women and children as well as their safety. She was remembering her Dakota language in her later years. She taught it to her takojas and spoke it to everyone. She really enjoyed talking weekly to her son in law Hector Castrellon who she loved very much.
Her powerful Sicun let her communicate with relatives who were having a hard time. In 2000 she helped found the Hunkpati Decendants where the grassroots people formed to help get unequality out and bring back integrity to the tribe. This brought unity, awareness, and strong elders guiding the group, most important wocekiya-prayer and equality were the strong points.
She was a great baker/cook. Her favorite things; candy bars, Diet Coke, cherries and blueberries. Deb met Frank Attikai when she moved to Denver, CO. They married June 9th, 1980 in Pierre, SD then moved to Wheatland, WY where Frank worked as an iron worker/ welder. They moved to Pierre and then eventually came back home to the Crow Creek Tribe in Ft. Thompson. They just celebrated 30 years of marriage.
Grateful for having shared in her life are her children; Sons: Jerome and Cedar Attikai - Mitchell SD, Burton Sells - Window Rock AZ, Chris Rencountre - Ft Thompson SD, Hector Castrellon - Los Angeles, CA; Daughters: Vallie Rencountre - Sioux Falls SD, Thelma Attikai - Ft Thompson SD,; Grandchildren: Lily, Hector jr, Danny jr, Frankie II, Cante Ohitika, Cante Skuya, Meriah, Drakelyn, J'king, Azalea, William jr, Williams daughter; Sisters: Belinda Fay , Mona, Ella, Kathy, Lana, Blossom, Gina, Lisa, Donna, Viola, Cindy - Hunka Paulita Drapeau; Brothers: Allen, Kenny, Randy - Hunka Wayne Two Hawks, Jim Caldwell; Cousins Larry Rencountre, Gale Rencountre; Godchildren: Louis Heminger, Travis Fire Cloud, All her many relatives and friends.
Preceded in death by her parents Whitney and Thelma Rencountre, brothers Joshua and Allen Rencountre, Godson Gary Walking Bull.