On October 18, 2014, Taa’evâho’ne’e was called home. He was born on August 26, 1956 to Otto Brady, Sr. and Agnes Killsnight at the family homestead in Greenleaf. As in Cheyenne Tradition he was raised by his grandparents Alec & Josie Brady and his Aunt and Uncle Charles & Annie Brady. Joe & Victoria Walksalong also adopted him. He was a direct descendant of Chief Little Wolf and Braided Hair.
He married Linda Wolfname on February 18, 1977. Together they raised six children at the family home in Lame Deer, Montana.
All his life, Steve was a Warrior for his people, a great spiritual and traditional leader who followed in the footsteps of his ancestors to preserve Cheyenne culture and history. The scope of his achievements is breathtaking. As an educator, he taught school at Lame Deer High School, teaching generations of students their rich past, for he believed that the past was not dead, but a living thing that was not even past. He was chairman of the Northern Cheyenne Culture Commission, working tirelessly to preserve traditional Cheyenne ways. He worked with the State of Montana and the National Park Service to set aside and properly interpret in perpetuity battle sites such as the Little Big Horn, Wolf Mountain, and Rosebud. He also played a leading role in setting aside Medicine Deer Rocks, located just outside the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, as a National Historic Landmark.
His work to preserve the sacred grounds of the Medicine Wheel in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming and the Sand Creek Massacre in southeastern Colorado deserve special recognition. For over two decades and working with a coalition of Indian peoples, Steve successfully led the movement to create the Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark, which was declared in 2011, so future generations may revere and pray at that sacred place.
His Sand Creek involvement began in the 1980s. In 1993, Steve joined with the State of Colorado, the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wind River, Wyoming, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma to locate the true site of the massacre. In 1998, the National Park Service also joined this effort, along with Kiowa County, Colorado, county commissioners and local landowners. Later that year, Steve was invited to the Oval Office of the White House to witness President William Jefferson Clinton sign the landmark legislation to create the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site under the management of the National Park Service. And to ensure the passage of that bill, he testified numerous times before committees of the United States Senate. The national site opened to the public in 2007—in large part due to Steve’s unrelenting determination to honor the Cheyenne ancestors who died there on November 29, 1864, fighting for their freedom and way of life. After the creation of the park, Steve still did not think his work was complete. He powerfully led the successful efforts to repatriate to the site those individuals whose remains were scattered in various museums and repositories across the United States. They now rest in the cemetery located on the site.
It should also be said that Steve honorably served his country in the United State Marine Corps. He was a former Sacred Hat Keeper and Headsmen of the Crazy Dog Society. He was a member of the Native American church and an avid hunter and fisherman.
One writer, who wrote about the tragedy of Sand Creek and the twenty-two-year struggle to preserve the memory of it, said of Steve Brady: “He was one of the finest and most powerful and most caring and most brilliant people I’ve ever met in my entire life. His decency and passion and intellect and strength were so immense that I cannot fathom a world without him. He was, in every sense I can think of, a great person.”
His kind—loving husband, father, uncle and papa, dedicated public servant and educator, veteran, giving friend–rarely walks among us. He was a true Cheyenne leader, preserving and defending the Cheyenne way of life so others may enjoy it.
Survivors include his wife Linda, his beloved children, Carmen, Stephanie & Roy Fisher Sr., Dana & Alice, Steven Jr. & Tawnya, Josephine, Jonathan & Sis, Joey Little Bird and Manny Lone Elk; his beloved grandchildren Christopher, Roy Jr , Clayton, Al Gene, Patrick Steven, Bernadine, Bryan, Vince, Alliana, Dathanyel, Jeran, and Marley; His siblings, Merrill Killsnight, Sr.,Lavonda Brady, Elizabeth Braided Hair, Theresa Small (Vernon), Marie Sanchez, Rosella Pongah (Jim Mann), Otto Braided Hair, Jr. (Barbara), Martin Braided Hair (Jonnie), Gilbert Brady, Gilbert White Dirt, Wilmer Mesteth, William Walksalong, David Halaas, Roger Cummins; Sister-in-law, Lenora, Carla, Colette, and Rolette; Aunts, Irene Bearquiver and Laretha (Ed) Grinsell; Special friends Judee Anderson, Jack Trope, Dallas Ross, Jerry Flute, Alexa Roberts, Jack Bailey, Father Peter Powell, Sterling Watan, Dan Rooney and the STEELER Nation; many nieces and nephews, and all Crazy Dog Society members; Colleagues at the National Park Service, Lame Deer High School, MPC, and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.
Preceding him in death are his parents, Alec & Josie Brady, Charles & Annie Brady, Joe & Victoria Walksalong, Ray Brady, Luke Brady, Joseph Lonewolf, Theresa Lynn Rising Sun, Barry Brady, Joseph Curtis, Lee Lonebear, Roger Old Mouse Sr.; Family’s Braided Hair, Brady, Killsnight, Bear Comes Out, Whistling Elk, White Dirt, Black Horse.
A special thanks to Billings Clinic.