On September 1, 2020, Dino Valentine Spotted Elk Wilson was called by Mahe’o to begin his next journey, joining many of his beloved family and friends. He was born on September 23, 1972, in Crow Agency, MT, to Peter John Wilson and Irene Mae Spotted Elk Wilson. Dino was raised in Lame Deer, where he attended school. He was a proud member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe and, as an adult, he attended Salish Kootenai College where he received his heavy equipment operator’s certificate.
He was a very active person, constantly on the move and always busy. He found peace when attending peyote meetings and sweatlodge and sundance ceremonies, offering prayers for all in need. Dino traveled extensively and had friends all across the United States, meeting people from all different cultures and backgrounds.
He was very proud of his Cheyenne heritage, being descended from Chief William Spotted Elk, Chief Powderface, and Chief Littlewolf, and was greatly admired for his craftsmanship of traditional Northern Cheyenne flutes, beadwork, and crafts. He was knowledgeable about the traditional ways of his people. He was a gifted artist and musician and had won various awards from places such as the Santa Fe Art Show, where he won first place for his jewelry making, and the Jackson Hole Art Show in Wyoming where he won an award for best of show.
Dino was especially close to his daughter, Irene. He became a single parent when she was only a few months old. Then, he had been rather irresponsible and didn’t worry too much about things. However, when he realized this little girl was completely dependent on him, he settled down and devoted his life to being her father.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his grandparents, Alex & Fern Spotted Elk and James & Martha Wilson, and his nephew, Ozzy Wilson. He is survived by his children, Sonya, Tyrel, Noah, Irene, and Journey; his brothers, Floyd Hiwalker, Johnny (Michelle) and Kipp of Lame Deer, and Troy (Teresa) of Ashland; his sisters, Diane (Neil), Barbara (Ryne), Clementine, Cheryl (Merlin), and Ida (Robbie) of Lame Deer and Lisa (John) of Ashland and Sharon; nieces, Heather (Dutch), Krisann, Sarah, and Jersey of Lame Deer; nephews, Zack (Marcia) of Hardin, Ty (Caitlyn) and Tate of Fairbanks, AK, and Josiah of Lame Deer; cousin, William “Smiley” Wilson of Lame Deer; cousins Jackie & Teri Burns of Lame Deer who were a great source of support and encouragement to Dino; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and the many members of the Wilson, Westika, Rowland, Spotted Elk, Beardontwalk, and Tallbull families. If we have forgotten anyone, we apologize for the oversight and assure you it is not intentional. We would also like to give a special thank you to all the people who helped Dino to get prepared for and participate in the sundances, especially his painter, Max Highwalker and his family.
Dino’s spark and energy will be missed greatly. Without him, the world is a little less bright.