Thomas John Crane Bear

January 29, 1929 ~ November 24, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Thomas Crane Bear Obituary

Makoyii’tsikin – Wolf Shoe

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our precious dad, Thomas John Crane Bear, of Siksika Nation, on November 24, 2023 at the Sagewood Care Centre in Strathmore, Alberta, at the age of 94 years. Our dad was a husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, great-great grandfather, uncle, brother-in-law, and a friend to many.

Dad’s Blackfoot name is “Makoyii’tsikin” which means Wolf Shoe; he was the last surviving grandfather and uncle of the Crane Bear and Ghostskin families, and he was a member of the Brave Dogs (Kanaatsomitaiks) Society. Dad always took pride in being a Siksika Nation member.

In dad’s early years he received certification in carpentry and a Life Skills Coaching certificate from Nechi; however, he held many jobs throughout his life.

Prior to the 1970s Dad was:
-   A ranch hand, coalmine worker, maintenance worker for the Crowfoot School in Siksika, and a carpenter with his traditional brother, Leo Pretty Youngman Sr.

From the 1970s to the latter part of the 1990s, Dad was employed as:
-   Addiction Counsellor for the Bonnyville Treatment Centre,
-   Cultural Advisor for Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) for the Calgary area. While he was working with NCSA, he was a Spiritual Advisor for the Calgary Correctional Centre and Calgary Remand Centre in Alberta,
-   Cultural Advisor for the Calgary Indian Friendship Centre,
-   Cultural Trainer for the City Police, lawyers, and judges in Calgary,
-   Police Commissioner for Siksika Police Services,
-   Elder Advisor for the Siksika Land Claims, Siksika Justice and the Aboriginal Justice Learning Networks in Ottawa

We wanted to highlight that in 1998 Dad was one of the founders of the Aiskapimohkiiks Program for the Siksika Justice Department, which included Ronald Many Heads, the late Frank Sr. Turning Robe, the late Rosalyn Breaker, the late Margaret Water Chief, the late Alma Pretty Youngman, late Pius Three Suns, and the late Mark Wolf Leg Sr.

In the 2000s, Dad worked at the Banff Centre as their Cultural Advisor until his retirement in 2015; in Dad’s honor the Banff Centre named a conference room the “Elder Tom Crane Bear” room. He remained in Banff until 2019 where he volunteered his time at the Banff High School and Lexington Museum.

Dad had many achievements throughout his life such as in 1993 he was inducted into the Indigenous Elder’s Circle at the Peoples Conference in New Zealand and given the title “Honourable Elder”; in 2005 he was inducted into the World Council of Indigenous Elders in Australia; and in 2010 he was awarded the Alberta Aboriginal Achievement Award in the category of Culture; however, dad’s greatest achievement was his 50 years of sobriety.

Dad will be greatly missed by his children; Charlene Crane Bear, Leon Crane Bear, and Melanie Baptiste. His traditional children; Dusty Horn & family, Eulalia Running Rabbit & family, Debbie Smith & family, Andrew Bear Robe & family, Janice Tanton & family, Irvin Kehewin & family, Harvey McLeod & family, Moses Spear Chief & family. His grandchildren who dad cherished; Dion Spotted Eagle & family, Brent Spotted Eagle, Colin, Barry and Jolene Crane Bear, Dion Wickberg, Lanny Giroux, Eldon Stanley, Chesley and Zachary Baptiste. His traditional grandchildren; Shaylen (Robin Coutlee) & Jadius Smith, and others too many to mention. Dad is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren too many to mention. His only surviving sibling, Veronica Smith & family; His only surviving sister-in-law, Ruth Scalp Lock (Francis Melting Tallow); and numerous nieces and nephews too many to mention.

Dad is survived by his extended families: White Elk, Blackhorse, Black Kettle, Jasper Sr. Many Heads’ family, Eve Yellow Old Woman & family, Christine Little Chief & family, Stimson, Drunken Chief, Bird, Stevens, Running Rabbit, One Runner, Crow Chief, Running Rabbit, Wright, Turning Robe, Peter Poole & family, and relatives from Saskatchewan; if we missed anyone we apologize.

Dad will now be reunited with family he missed throughout his life and we know he will be welcomed with open arms by his parents; Tom Crane Bear Sr. and Vivian Ghostskin; our mother, Lucy Jane (Scalp Lock) Crane Bear; his children, Joan, Gerald, Geraldine, Regis, Colleen, Barry and Michelle; his traditional children; Ray Black Water, Rick Running Rabbit; his siblings, Annie (Alex) Black Kettle, Maureena (Leonard Sr.) Black Horse, Rolland (Linda Holloway) Crane Bear, Kathleen Crane Bear, Fraser White Elk and Barbara Scott; his close friends and relatives, Jasper Sr. Many Heads, Leo Pretty Youngman Sr., Frank Turning Robe Sr., Adolphus Weasel Child, Robert Sr. Breaker, Clifford Eagle Speaker, Glen Eagle Speaker, Bernard Tallman, John Healy, Orton Eagle Speaker, Earl Old Persons, Earl Healy, Pat Brewer, Kenneth Yellow Fly, and Gilbert Provost; and extended family.

We would like to thank the staff from Sagewood Care Centre in Strathmore for caring for our dad until his passing, and to all for your prayers and support during this difficult time.

Dad’s wish was not to have a wake for him; from this, there will be a viewing prior to the funeral on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at the Pow-Wow Arbor in Siksika; the viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and funeral at 1 p.m. with Reverend Larry Water Chief presiding. Dad will be laid to rest at the Eagle Hill Cemetery in Siksika. The family will provide a lunch prior to the funeral.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas John Crane Bear, please visit our floral store.

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November 28, 2023

9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Gordon Yellowfly Memorial Arbour

Siksika Nation, Alberta

Funeral Service
November 28, 2023

1:00 PM
Gordon Yellowfly Memorial Arbour

Siksika Nation, Alberta


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