David Leonard Melting Tallow Jr., known to all as Dave, was born at the Blackfoot Hospital on the Siksika Nation on June 29, 1940. He lived with his parents Dave Melting Tallow Sr. and Margaret Melting Tallow (nee Apikoki) down in the Flats (North Camp).
He grew up in the house near the Bow River and spent his leisure time swimming, riding horses, and other activities as well doing chores around the small ranch the family inherited from his grandfather James Apikoki. Later on, the family moved up to the small community known as The Four Houses.
Like all Blackfoot people prior to the 1970s, Dave was a residential school survivor.
Dave left Siksika and spent many years traveling throughout the United States in the 1950s and 1960s eventually returning to Canada in the 1970s. He worked at many types of jobs throughout the years; he worked in the oil fields, a potato farm east of Lethbridge, Community Liaison Representative for Siksika Governance, and many forms of employment.
When he returned to Canada, he lived in Calgary for a few years before moving home to Siksika. He lived in Little Chicago valley with his wife Patricia Little Leaf, his great-grandson Christopher Provost, and his horses until his passing.
Dave was proud of his house in the valley and the improvements he made. After the flood of 2013, Dave was offered a new house but, when he wasn’t allowed to have it built in the location he wanted, he chose to remain in his beloved valley.
In the 1990s, he had a show on the old Siksika radio station where he played his selection of music including his favourite Blues tunes. He regaled his listeners with stories and political commentary, which ruffled the feathers of the local politicians. He continued his political commentary through his popular Oki Siksika newsletter for many years.
Dave, a fluent Old Blackfoot speaker and sign language expert, was very knowledgeable about Blackfoot culture and history. He was a spiritual man and took part in Piercing Sundances on the Blood Reserve along with his cousin Philomena Melting Tallow and her husband Rusty Schindler. He danced with piercings in his chest and his back for four days without food or water.
Dave is survived by his, daughter Marylou Wolf Tail (Randy Buffalo) from Brocket, granddaughter Angel Wolf Tail, great-granddaughter Victoria Wolf Tail (Cardinal), great-grandsons Creedence Wolf Tail, Christopher Provost and Blaze Small Legs, grandson Joshua Wolf Tail, son Joshua Melting Tallow from Los Angeles, sister Diana Melting Tallow from Calgary, brother Paul (Mona) Melting Tallow, numerous nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by his paternal grandparents Wades in Water and Lucy Spotted Eagle, maternal grandfather James Apikoki and his wife, his parents David and Margaret Melting Tallow, brothers Franklin and Linn Melting Tallow, and sister Thelma Melting Tallow who died in infancy, daughter Lynn Wolf Tail, great-granddaughter Kimberly Wolf Tail and great-grandson Creedence Wolf Tail, uncles Matthew Melting Tallow, Frank Melting Tallow, and Paul Melting Tallow, aunts Joset Many Guns (nee Melting Tallow) and Eulalia Healy (nee Melting Tallow), cousins Dorothy and Gerald (Don’noo) Melting Tallow, Clifford, Matthew, Yvonne, and Carl Many Guns, Les and Evans Melting Tallow, Elizabeth Big Throat, Daisy Aberdeen, and Flora Day Rider, Frankina and Francine Melting Tallow, and Erstwhile brother-in-law John Hellson.
Dave’s family includes the Melting Tallows, Many Guns, Little Chiefs, Hellsons, Foxes, Ayoungmans, Running Cranes, Small Legs, Big Throats, Russells, Aberdeens, and Healys. Apologies to those missed.
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