Maheonee’evehahtse (Medicine Flying) was born to Charles and Julia on the homestead of the Vo’ome héše’ke (Whitedirt) Family on July 2, 1938, in Heóvonėheo’hé’e (Muddy Creek, MT). He spent his days riding his beloved horses, exploring the hills, and knew just about every creek and popular spots on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. He was extremely well known throughout Indian country and had many accomplishments and made countless friends throughout his life, In fact, you could go just about anywhere in the Great Plains and you would meet somebody who knew him. He had a friendly and outgoing personality, always joking around and greeting his male friends with the good ‘ol Haah’e! He enjoyed living a simple life at the family home with a cigarette in hand and staring out his favorite window while waiting for visitors to stop by.
Gilbert married his first love Virginia Spotted Elk and together they had their children Randy, Eddie(Butchy), Doreen, Monica, Maclay, and Gilma. He then married Nancy Sandcrane and remained close with her family even after her passing in 2007. He held various job throughout his lifetime to support his family as a Firefighter, Utilities Technician, Sugar Beet Factory worker, as a ranch hand at Padlock Ranch, Dull Knife Janitor, Tree thinning at Tribal Forestry, as well as managing longhorn steer in Texas. The rodeo circuit was his most favorite way of earning money, especially when he was able to combine both his passion for horses, rodeo and providing for his family.
Gilbert’s eyes would light up when you asked him about horses or his cowboy days. You could sit with him for hours every day and never make it through all of his stories. He he was a Champion Team Roper, traveling the rodeo circuit for many years and making enough earnings to travel state to state with his fellow cowboy friends. His wildest stories about rodeo was the Saddle Bronc Riding ones where he spoke of some broken bones and bumps and bruises. However, he would say his pride only hurt for just a little while and he got right back on again. He and his daughter
Gilma were also featured in Western Horseman Magazine. A true horseman with a gift of connecting with and training horses was one thing he took a lot of pride in, especially working with his horses to become both parade and rodeo horses. Now he is reunited with his beloved Bobby Socks, his pride and joy champion horse and it is without a doubt they are back at it with team roping and parading on the other side now.
Perhaps, the single most notable thing Gilbert was known for was his knowledge of Cheyenne ceremonies and traditional songs, the colorful storied history of the Cheyenne people, sacred sites and sacred places, and essentially everything that comprised the Cheyenne cultural values and customs. He descends from a long line of chiefs and warriors,
including: Braidedhair, Whistling Elk, Crazy Head, Strong Left Hand, Heap of Birds, Sun Roads, and Powder River. He learned ceremonial protocols alongside many from his generation, especially his brothers Jimmy Red Cloud, Willis Medicine Bull, Albert Tall Bull at a young age from the teachings of his father Charlie Whitedirt, Ma’ome (Ice), Old Man
Whistling Elk, Arthur Brady, Lee Lone Bear, and many others for sure. His great grandfather Crazy Head was also a strong warrior who fought at Little Bighorn Battle as the third ranking chief in line. Gilbert was also free spirited and went to his own accord sometimes, and his daughter Monica used to tease him about being crazy because of our grandpa Crazy Head.
While humble yet proud, Gilbert would mention that he was a piercing Man, faster, sun dancer, participated in Native American Church, obtained the rights to be a Uwipi man from his father, and was also a former Sacred Hat Keeper. Gilbert and his wife Nancy welcome visitors to their home from around the world seeking spiritual assistance and guidance during their time as safekeepers of Esevone. He was a member of the Cheyenne Hémo’eoxeso (Elk Horse Scraper) Military Society and also became Chief Headsman of that society until he became the Sacred Hat Keeper. Singing was also a gift Gilbert had. He was a member of the “Birney Singers” drum group, who are the go to for traditional and ceremonial songs. However, despite all of this he would always finish by saying, “But I’m just a common man who creator uses as a tool to send prayers to the creator.” His beloved badger bundle was his pride and joy and carried him through many trials and tribulations since he became the keeper of Ma’hahko’e(Badger).
Gilbert gave a full life time of servitude to the Tsétsėhéstȧhese & Soota’e’o of the Cheyenne Nation, especially the Notameohméseestse( Northern Eaters) of Montana on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Whenever someone needed prayers, he never hesitated help. His teachings certainly have filled the ceremonial spaces with the knowledge of protocols and ceremonial process he taught as an instructor. This will continue to carry on through his students and his family in carrying on the Cheyenne Way of Life. He was a member of the Fort Robinson Breakout Committee with his wife Nancy when it first began. Gilbert was also a member of the Northern Cheyenne Cultural Commission and was a prominent cultural advisor to his close friend Conrad Fisher, where they traveled to various states of the ancestral homelands of the Cheyenne to advocate for sacred site protection and Cheyenne historical presence. He also took some time these last few years traveling with his granddaughter Teanna doing the same type of work. He was never afraid to share what he knew and always did his duty of sharing our ways as a knowledge keeper to ensure the next generations will follow in line. The Black Hills and Bear Butte were many of the last trips he went on to conduct ceremony and offer prayers for help, especially to pray harder once the covid pandemic hit home. Lastly, his last ceremony was naming his newest great grandbaby in December, as he did with all of his grandchildren from the first time he held them.
Special friends and brothers include Llevando Fisher, Butch Sooktis, Scott Dozer, Clovis Wilson, Jim Jandreau, Jimmy Red Cloud, Rick Wolfname, Roger Killsnight, Otto and Martin Braidedhair, Jerry Thomas, Lee Lone Bear, and as instructor to Tom Rock Roads, Vincent Whitecrane, Ernest Littlemouth, Don Shoulderblade, to name a few.
All of his friendships led him to travel around the world and overseas to places like England, Sweden, France, Denmark, and Germany. He was quite the traveled man with a rich heritage he shared in all the places he went. He was also happy to have participated in the Bill Clinton Inaugural Parade with the Northern Cheyenne Delegation in 1994.
Grandpa was the happiest when his family was around him, especially his grandkids, who he would always hand out candy to. They always looked forward to seeing him because he always had candy or a few bucks to give. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his kids and his grandkids, as he strived to be the best father and grandfather to them, especially in helping his daughter Monica raise her kids. He enjoyed the simple life and always gave what he had to his family.
Preceding Gilbert in death are his parents Charles and Julia, sisters Mary, Lucy, Leona, Lena, brothers Patrick, daughter Monica, son Maclay, grandsons August, Casey, Baby Randy Whitedirt, niece Myrtle, nephews Marcus and Bosco, Larry, Patrick, Jr. Whitedirt, and many others.
Survivors include his sons Randy (Dorothy), Eddie, and daughters Doreen and Gilma. Sisters Mae and Imogene. His nieces Lucille, Baby Girl, Amy, Elrena, Bonnie, Julia, Pamela, Tamera, Jennifer, Kristen. Granchildren Marlin, Lisa, Justin, Teanna, Teal, Terrance, Lucinda, Shamiekwa, Romer, Addie, Derek, Edison, Wyatt, Naya, Nasheena, Tywuan, Jesse, Edie, Payton, Cheylo, Wendell, Jr., Evander. He also had 18 great-grandchildren. Many other grandchildren far too numerous to list, but of whom he also loved and cared for just as much.
Extended Relatives include Whistling Elk, Braidedhair, Tall Bulls, Yellow Eyes, Fox, Elk Shoulder, Spotted Elk, White Wolf, Strange Owl, Limpy, Killsnight, Big Left Hand, Old Elk, Onion, Hunts Arrow, BirdInGround, Seminole, as well as many other far too numerous to mention.
Please accept our dearest apology if we failed to mention your name as this has been the most difficult time losing our Patriarch of the Whitedirt family, and with him being the last parent, uncle, brother, and grandparent it has proved even more difficult. Always remember that grandpa loved everyone and prayed for everyone no matter what. He cherished you.