Anthony Aaron Mazawasicuna, Jr. “Hoksida Hopa” (Pretty Boy), age 30, of Poplar, MT was called home on Thursday, October 7, 2021.
“Hoksida Hopa” Is his Dakota name. It is the name Tunkashida knows him by and will call him. His later “Unka” (Grandfather) Aaron McKay of Sioux Valley performed his naming ceremony.
“Hoksida Hopa” was born on Friday, December 14, 1990 in Sidney, MT to Anthony Carlos Mazawasicuna and Ninette Christie Hamilton. He is a direct descendant 7th generation of “Mato Wakan” Chief Medicine Bear. He lived the first years of his life in “Wipazoka Wakpa” Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Reserve in Manitoba, Canada. He spent most of his life in Poplar but his heart was always in Sioux Valley. He was proud to claim his Canadian status, and was planning to move back there eventually.
He attended schools in Poplar. In high school he played football. He graduated from Poplar High School in 2010. While in middle school he enjoyed music class. He excelled at the keyboard. He was invited to perform on the keyboard in a high school music class recital. He was very excited to be given that opportunity. He also played acoustic guitar and would play Def Leppard songs at home for his mom. He enjoyed playing songs in a type of “name that tune” game with her. They also enjoyed playing Scrabble sometimes into the wee hours of the morning. A game in which she could never beat him.
He was such a quiet. Mild mannered bay, very observant. He was a respectful, well-behaved child. He carried those traits into adulthood. He was shy at first and wouldn’t dance at the Wacipi, unless his dad and mom were both holding his hands. He would run behind his dad when he went back to the drum to sing, leaving his mom on the dance floor.
He was the “Little Chief” both years of Head start. He was still shy in the dance circle. Though he would dance his heart out at home, with his Grandpa Togo, war hooping and dancing with him, while still sitting on the kitchen chair. His Grandpa taught him how to “Sneak up”, how to move his head to look out for the enemy and lead his warriors. His Grandpa told him his war stories from when he served I the Korean Conflict. “Hoksida Hopa” spent most of his time, if not all of his time with his Grandpa Togo and recently came back into the dancing circle after losing him in 2004. He danced in his memory. It was his way of coping with such a huge loss. He was a “natural”, he built his own style with guidance from Jim Red Eagle, Harry Three Stars and Perry Lilley.
He learned to bead with his mother’s “bead soup” when he was 11 years old. He beaded a medicine wheel medallion. His Grandmother Karen beaded his dancing regalia and eventually he beaded his own full regalia. And made feather bustles after his grandfather Calvin First Sr. taught him how. He created his family crest when he became a father and passed the designs to his children.
He would gain some much “Hunka” family throughout his life. He held special places in his heart for those that made an impact in his. He gained mothers who loved him the dame as their own. He gained brothers and sisters far and wide throughout “Indian Country”. In the Dakota way they are his “Hunka Tiwahe” akin closer than adopted families. They supported him, loved him unconditionally, helped him in and out of his trials.
He loved to travel west and south to Waci, Fort Belknap, Browning, Arlee, Rocky Boy, Lame Deer, Fort Washakie, Ethete and all the Montana University “Wacipis” were his favorite comfort zones. They treated him well and always welcomed him warmly.
He met his children’s mother Jourdon Hoops-Lovan in 2010 at the New Year’s dance in Lodge Pole, MT. From this union came Kohloni Helen Rae and Anthony Jerimi III. They later split up but remained close friends and co-parented their children together. Later becoming “uncle” to her new children. He loved being a father. He was so proud of his children. He loved all children that came into his life. In the Dakota tradition, your siblings’ children become your children. He was honored to become a father figure to his sisters’ children, beaming with pride when he was with them.
He was selected the Honor of being a “Whistle Carrier” one of the highest esteems given to any man. One night he dreamed of a whistle being given to him. He consulted his Grandmother Myrna First as to what his dream meant. She told him he will be chosen one day; he must prepare and be ready. Two weeks later at the Turns Around Wacipi in Poplar, MT, he was approached by a young man and given a whistle by Dominic Myers of Rocky Boy, MT. Hoksida Hopa’s Grandfather Shep Ferguson, an esteemed well respected Army Veteran, who served alongside his Grandpa Togo in the Korean Conflict, performed the ceremony of the exchange of hands of the whistle. He instructed Hoksida Hopa on his rights and duties he must perform with being a “Whistle Carrier”.
Hoksida Hopa attended Fort Peck Community College after high school, taking general studies classes. He worked as a TERO laborer in 2009/2010. He repaired the roof of the Poplar Cultural Center. He went back to his general studies at the Fort Peck Community College in 2015. He later became a Maintenance worker for the Fort Peck Tribes in 2019/2020, his work station was the Poplar Cultural Center.
Hoksida Hopa is survived by his beautiful children, Kahloni Helen Rae and Anthony Jerimi “AJ” Mazawasicuna of Poplar, his father Anthony Mazawasicuna Sr. of Sioux Valley, Manitoba, Canada, his mother Ninette Hamilton of Poplar, his sisters Aariann Evelyn (Joseph John) and Adrianna Leigh Mazawasicuna of Poplat, MT; paternal brothers Dylan and Nolan Deegan-Mazawasicuna of Standing Buffalo; his maternal grandmothers Vermae Taylor of Wolf Point, Esther Hapa of Ft. Kipp, Janice White Eagle of Ft. Kipp; his maternal aunts Thomasine (Angie) Hamilton of Alamogordo, NM, Deanna (Chris) First of Williston, ND, Adreanne Hamilton, Wapato Washington, Inez “Dee”, Lynette First, Helen First-Dineyaze of Chinle, AZ, Patricia (Chuck) Steen of Minneapolis, Michelle Baga of Seattle, WA, Imogene (Perry) Lilley of Wolf Point; his maternal uncles Anthony “Tony” Hamilton, Aaron Hamilton of Wapato Washington, Calvin “Bear” First pf Poplar, Vernon “Tuffy” First of Ft. Kipp, Kevin First of Aberdeen SC, Christopher First of Reno, NV, Wesley (Raquel) Greybull of Poplar; maternal cousins Lorree Jo and Loren Youngman of Polar and Wolf Point, Aaree Leigh Greybear of Poplar, Brandon (Katherine) Hamilton of Idaho, Jalen Johnson and Jacob Belgarde of Brockton, Dominic and Diamond Dineyaze of Chinle, AZ, Frankee Hamilton-Demarrias of Poplar, Brett, Deunie First of Utah, Kendall First of Canupa Wakpa, Manitoba, Kentrell, Grace First of Wolf Point, Jacob First of Poplar, Joshua First of Glasgow, Justin First of South Dakota, Courtney Greybull of Brockton, Cory Schindler of Wolf Point, Antoine (Tyra) Reddog, Dion, TaRess First of Poplar, Andrew Riley, Seneca, Simaron, Kadence, Channing, Kay Jay, Quannah, Calvy First, “CeCe” Merculieff, Raycine, Kyle, Quaiden, Conway, Lakota, Kye First of Ft, Kipp, Amy Gone of Washington, Wacey, Wesley Greybull of Poplar, Leigh Spotted Bird, Grant Ferguson pf Poplar, Thea (Russell) McCloud of Harrah Washington, Isaac Thomas Tapis of Santa Fe, NM; maternal nieces Urijah Kay, Lilliana, Landrea, Alicia, Aaliyah, RhysDeni, Lottie, Ad’alynn “Baby Moon”, Xandria “Baby X”, Myree, Ti’are, Sienna; maternal nephews, HolyBear, Kay’Den, Joseph Jr., Lakota “Baby Kota”, Kiel Brekyn, Aaron, Owen, Leiran, Lyonil, Lyonis, Maximus, Ryan, Cal Ray, Noah, Kyson, Treston, Trenton, Liam; paternal aunts Monella (stan) hawk, Gina (Gary) Lonebear of Poplar, India Jones of Brockton, Charlene Mazawasicuna, Francie Mazawasicuna, Whitney Mazawasicuna of Sioux Valley, Roxanne Mazawasicuna-Pratt of Edmonton, AB, Nicole Tacan, Toni Tacan of Fargo, ND, Victoria Black Smith of Ontario, Myra Sheely-Haganew of Wisconsin, Tamara (Adam) Baker, Wakan McKay of Standing Rock; paternal uncles Caleb Akisa Courchene of Sioux Valley, Angelo, Jason, Jeremy Wasteste of Saskatchewan, Dale McKay, Kevin Tacan, Brett Mazawasicuna of Sioux Valley, Cruz Tacan of Fargo, ND; paternal grandmothers Laureen ( Bear) Paddy of Saskatchewan, Betsy Mazawasicuna, Angeline Mazawasicuna, Flora Hapa of Siuoz Valley; paternal grandfathers Hank Hotain, Raymond Hapa, Carl Mazawasicuna of Sioux Valley, Manitoba, Canada, Curtis McKay of Cannonball, ND; paternal cousin Nichelle Hawk.
Hoksida Hopa is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents Aaron Hamilton Sr., Karen First and Alfred “Togo” Lizotte, Wilma, Christine, Jerome Jr., Reno, Frederick Dean, Clavin Robert First, Calvin & Myrna First, Wanda & Milo Greybull, Adrian “A.G.” Hamilton, Mayford Hamilton, Chief Leonard Crowdog, Shep & Arlene Ferguson; maternal great grandparents Nina and Jerome First Sr., Evelyn & Joseph & Evelyn Hamilton, Donna Chase, Gwen Mail; maternal uncles Aaron Hamilton Jr., Del Wayne, Wayne First, Lakota Thomas First, Harold Greybull, Thomas Gone, Marcus Johnson; his maternal aunts Shanna First, Shelly Gobert; his maternal cousins Thomasina First, Jasmine Bridges, Christopher “Sonny” Gone; his maternal nephew Alexander Hamilton; special friend/sister Windy Grayhawk; paternal grandparents Ethel Frances Mazawasicuna, Gordon Wasteste, Frank Hapa; paternal aunt Kira Wambdiska; paternal cousin Trey Marion; paternal uncle Riel Wasteste.
Extended families include, Medicine Bear Band Tiyospiye: Hamilton, First, Johnson, Red Bear, Four Bear, White Eagle, Perry, Boxer, Steele, Buck Elk, Black Dog, Spotted Bird, Wasteste. Other family too numerous to remember, and anyone who we may have forgotten, please accept our deepest apologies.
A special Pidamiya Ye “Thank You” to his Ina’s who took care of him, loved him, worried about him, prayed for him; Cissy Eagleman for “making him eat” (his words) Stacey Bradley for sheltering him every time he ventured to Fort Belknap, Mary and Myron Hoops for taking care of him. Deb Hopkins for always having a safe place for him. Katie Thunderchild for being there for him day and middle of the nights. Maureen GrayHawk for the love and care you showed him. Kenneth Greybull, Moses Dionne, Bryson Meyers for being the best brothers he never had, to his brothers and sisters who were always there beside him, helping each pther, getting ready as soon as we got to the powwos. Lance Chase, Levi Jones, Cole Big Leggins, Prairie Dawn Thunderchild, Tahnee Thunderchild, Kia “KiaWia” Thunderchild.