08/08/2017 - John Charles Black Feather
Services for John Charles Black Feather, age 80, will be held in South Dakota at a later date.
John “Itacan” made his journey to the Spirit World on May 27, 2017 at his home in Tempe, AZ. He was born on a wagon trail in Pine Ridge, SD on June 3, 1936 to James L. Black Feather and Jessie Yellow Boy. He first learned English when he went to kindergarten. He was educated at PineRidgeSchool. As a youngster, he traveled with a tribal dance group and performed at fairs and rodeos including Cheyenne Frontier Days. As a young man, he rode bulls and worked for a stock contractor. In 1963, he married Judith Jennings, having met her only six weeks earlier. He learned auto mechanics at New York Technical Institute in Cleveland, OH. He worked as an automotive technician at various places, including White Clay, NE, Rapid City, SD, Lame Deer, MT, Chapel Hill, NC, and he eventually retired from General Motors Desert Proving Grounds in 1985.
He moved to the Phoenix area in 1972 and joined Central Plains Indian Club, which was an intertribal group for urban Indians who had left their home reservations. The group got together for many family gatherings and holidays and put on the annual Scottsdale All-Indian pow wow. In 1975, John was honored to serve as chairman of the Scottsdale All-Indian pow wow. This was one of the first pow wows in Arizona.
Later, he joined the Phoenix Jaycees Comancheros, helping to put on their annual rodeo, Christmas party for underprivileged children, and trail rides, and raising money for various charities.
In 1986, he returned to White Horse Creek, SD. He began replacing a cattle fence with a buffalo fence on his land as he had always wanted to raise buffalo. In 1992, he discovered the burial site of his great-grandfather, Long Wolf, in Brompton, England. After five years of red tape, he and several family members traveled to England to bring Long Wolf back to Pine Ridge, SD. In 1994, he began raising buffalo on his ranch, and it has steadily grown. In 2015, he was diagnosed with idiopathic cystic fibrosis. For health reasons, he turned over the buffalo ranch to his son, James, and hunka nephew, Virgil Two Eagle.
John is survived by wife Judith Jennings-Black Feather; daughters Carol Lewis, JoAnn Black Feather, and Winona Black Feather; son James Black Feather; sisters Irma Bad Wound and Mary Condon; and hunka brothers Ed Cole and Terry Button.
John was preceded in death by parents James and Jessie Black Feather; son Richard Lee Eagle; sisters Martha Shorting, Estella Rowland, and Lillian Sharpfish; and grandson Thomas Whitehead.
Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD is in charge of arrangements for John Charles Black Feather.
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