Taezha Jo Small was born on January 6, 1987 to Melissa Whitewolf Royston and Horace “Bitsy” Small, Jr. She passed to the eternal camping grounds on September 25, 2021, from a vehicle accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Taezha’s Cheyenne name was Has’eo’tae, “Medicine Woman,” given to her by her grandmother Mabel Small. She was named after her great-great-aunt, Jenny Morrison.
Taezha was proud to have served her country in the U.S. Army.
She participated in her culture, going to Native American Church Services with her Littlebird and Small families. She grew up going to Bear Butte to support her family, going to sweat lodge ceremonies, and she learned our ways to live as a Cheyenne Woman.
She was very strong in her beliefs in God and Jesus. Taezha was a member of Christ the Rock Church with her mother and brothers growing up. Her mother Melissa showed her the ways to follow Jesus and to always know God will protect her and be there for her.
Taezha was a grandmother’s daughter. Her beloved grandmothers were Harriet Littlebird and Mabel Small. Together with their large families, they raised Taezha in the Cheyenne cultural ways.
Taezha would eat raw kidney with the Cheyenne elders at the Cheyenne Shoulderblade Complex, and they loved having her company as their Cheyenne girl.
Taezha grew up on her grandmother Mabel Small’s land, south of Lame Deer. Her parents, Horace “Bitsy” and Melissa, made a home with their children on their ranch. Up the road lived her Auntie Gail, Uncle Joe and their four children. Taezha would walk up the road to play with her cousins almost every day. Her other cousins were always around, and they all grew up as brothers and sisters. Her grandfather Hooray and grandmother Mabel would check on them every day, giving them love and snacks.
Later, Taezha, her mother, and brothers moved to the district of Muddy Cluster and became a “Muddy Cluster Buster”.
Taezha graduated HS from St. Labre and was an “All-Around Athlete” in every sports activity she engaged in. She was a fantastic basketball player, and she played for the St. Labre Braves and in many Indian tournaments at Fort Hall, ID. Taezha also was an amazing runner and volleyball player as well as a Cowgirl. She won many rodeos barrel racing on her flaxen mane sorrel.
She rode horses at a very young age. She would get on young colts as a child with no fear. Her dad taught her to saddle her horse and she would ride horseback all over on our homelands. She often said she felt most “free” out on the land of her ancestors.
Taezha had a special bond with all of her siblings, and she was indeed her “Brother’s Keeper.” She was thrilled to have such a large extension of siblings. She loved her family deeply and made you feel good when you were around her.
Taezha loved her brothers so deeply and was a caretaker to Josey, Bailey, Doc Wiley, Tyrel, Skyler, and Jordan. Taezha also cherished her little sisters Erlise, Cheyloah, her sister-cousin Lauren, and her stepsister Tiffany. She also took in a lot of sister-friends, and they would move in with her while in high school and as an adult.
She had the most special laugh, a signature type. The one where if you heard it, it was so contagious and made everyone happy and laugh with her. She had a heart of gold and was deeply loyal. If Taezha loved you, she loved all of you and would always be there for you.
Taezha lived up to her Indian name, “Medicine Woman,” as she gave so much of her healing medicine of emotional support, along with praying for all those that she loved.
She did not judge anyone and believed that the only one who could ever judge a person was God and that no human is above anyone else.
Taezha was a beautiful social butterfly, with wings large, shiny, and beautiful.
The family would like to share from her journal, with her own words.
“Yoo, this is Taezha, and I’ll get straight to it. I want y’all to take a few minutes out of yo day to read and share this story to your dear ones. I am doing this for the love I have for my Lord and Savior. He’s been there for me when no one else was. He was there to wipe away my tears and hold me in the palm of his hand, covering me with a large, beautiful Eagle wing, where nobody, nor spirit nor anything not of God could harm me.”
Our beloved Taezha Jo, TJ Maxx, TJ, Maxwell, TJ bones, Pretty Girl, Zah Zah is flying high in the heavens to meet her loved ones and to be with God. She feels no pain, no sadness, and is in her resting place where she will live eternally.
Ride your horse fast & don’t look back!
“We will see you again, Medicine Woman.”
WE LOVE YOU!!!
Taezha is proceeded in death by her grandmothers Harriet Littlebird, Mabel Small, Ernestine Whitewolf, grandfathers Horace Small Sr., Harold “Vance” Littlebird, Jimmy Littlebird, Isadore Whitewolf and George Whitewolf, Uncles Cordell Small, Gerald LaFranier, her brothers Tyrel Small Frasier, Cyro Littlebird, Kymani Littlebird, George Kellum, Shawn Del LaFranier, her loyal companion dog Destinee Rose Sanchez, Joy Foote, Arvelos TwoMoons, James Littlebird, Joseph Whitewolf Sr., Goldstein Whitewolf, Fred Whitewolf, Allison Bixby, extended families.
Relatives are: Small, Littlebird, Whitewolf, Woodenlegs, Spotted Elk, King, Mexican Cheyenne, Robinson, Crazymule, Foote, Flores, Two Bulls, Eagle, Gray, StarvingBear, Redwoman, Firecrow, Bixby families.
We deeply apologize if we cannot name all those close to Taezha at this time of grief. Taezha was loved by her large family and many friends and she loved all of you.