Ernestine BirdinGround Hoops

Ernestine BirdinGround Hoops, “Baatatdiaitchahush” (Does Many Good Things), was called home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at Billings Clinic Hospital in Billings, Montana.  She was born on January 4, 1942, a daughter of Mabel Lincoln and Andrew BirdinGround.  Her Indian name was given to her by the late Jim Big Shoulder.  She was a member of the Bad War Deed Clan, and a child of the Bad War Deed. 

She was raised by Joseph and Winona Other Medicine Pickett, they wanted to adopt her, but her father, Andrew said no, so they raised her along side of the late Robert Pickett almost like twins as they were just 4 months apart.  She grew up with Louise and Laura as sisters.  She also grew up with her brothers; Andrew, Sam, Gilbert BirdinGround, Joe and Robert Pickett and Blaine Falls Down.

She grew up in the Garryowen area and later moved to Crow Agency where she made her permanent home at the “Pink House” in the Carpet Mill area.  Receiving her early education in Crow Agency, she later obtained her high school equivalency and teachers certificate.  She worked at the Crow US Automatics, Baptist Church Day Care, teachers aid at the Little Big Horn College for GED Classes.  She started as a lunch clerk at the Crow Public School, later became a bilingual teacher and math coach teacher working along with Bonnie Brule. Later became a Para Professional for most of the grade levels until her 30 year retirement; she also worked as a receptionist at the Song Bird Daycare. She was currently working on the Crow Tribal Enrollment Committee Reno District.  She was known as the ‘boss lady’ (biiabaajatcha) for Reno District functions and events as well as White Swan Family Reunion.  She was a member of the Crow Baptist Church.

Ernestine was a traditional woman, participating in handgames, sweat lodge, sundance and was a Crow traditional dancer. She would always look forward to any traditional functions and anxiously looking forward to a powwow.  She was a proud kaala, when Antonia was selected for the Bad War Deed Princess and later on Mylei followed during the Fourth of July Powwow in Lodge Grass and when Antonia became Royalty for the Crow Fair Celebration, that made her exceptionally proud of her granddaughter and great-granddaughter Mylei. 

She loved her sister in laws, always greeted them and received them in with love and respect; always gifted them with beautiful blankets, scarfs, clothing and jewelry.  She was very generous because of her respect and love for her brothers.  She named her daughter Georgia Hoops after a life-long friend whom she took as a sister, Georgiann Bad Bear.

The following preceded her in death; great grandparents Other Medicine and Walks to the Hole; grandparents Sam BirdinGround, Sr. and Winona Other Medicine, Hannah Other Medicine; parents Andrew BirdinGround and Mabel Lincoln; uncles Francis and Wilson Lincoln; aunties Annie, Winnie and Rosie Lincoln; siblings Andrew Russell, Albert BirdinGround, Ryder and Al WhiteHip, Eleanor, Evelyn and Linda BirdinGround; adopted children Jacqueline Three Irons, Gerry Hoops Wilson and Garland Yellowmule; her granddaughters Courtney Little Nest and Christian Lee Hoops.

She is survived by her children; Cathy (Wayne) Not Afraid, Georgia Hoops (Paul) Matt, Tina (Robert) Stewart, Janet (Sidney) Fitzpatrick, Lori BirdinGround (Larry) Eastman, Allison BirdinGround and Paul “JR” Nomee III; brothers Ricky (Ann) and Eugene (Lydia) BirdinGround, Stevie (Patsy) White Hip; sisters Hannah (Ken) Pretty On Top, Mary Agnes WhiteHip, Andrea and Barbara BirdinGround, Elsie (Kurt) LaForge, Laura Pickett Real Bird, Victoria Lincoln Hogan, Wyla Medicine Horse, Mary Helen Medicine Horse and Victoria Bad Bear; uncles Joe Pickett, Blaine Falls Down and Clifford BirdinGround; her adopted daughters Rhonda Curley, Georgiann Old Elk, Janet Costa, Rochelle Bad Bear, Martha Singer, Bertha Hogan and Michelle White Clay; adopted sons Clarence (Jocelyn) Three Irons, Mark (Cheri) Real Bird, Boyd (Charlotte) Russell, Cody (Carlotta) Ware, Jared (Nikki) and CJ (Tara) Stewart, Thomas Ray Little Owl, Paul (Krystal) Hill, Sam Hoops  Jr. and Randy Malensik.

A member of the Tobacco Society adopted by Harriet Leider; her brothers Lawrence and Sam Big Hair, Calvin, Cyrus (Annie) Leider; preceded in death: Marvin Spotted, Arnold and Wallace Leider.

Her grandchildren Stephen, AJ (Deneen), JrWayne and Ivan Not Afraid, Sunshine (Geoff), Andrew, Tony (Kim) and Marcelline Little Nest, Jeannette Hoops (Mandale), Pierre Matt, Jennifer and Robert GunShows, Eva Hoops (Vernon), Starla, Kevin and Ilene Pretty On Top,  Clint, Solon, Marina and Will Fitzpatrick, Arlene, Antonia BirdinGround (Steffan), Lara Jane, Larilyn and LaRon Eastman, Terry Jo (Jordale), Whitney, Angel, Romey and Wilson BirdinGround.  She loved all her children; 28 grandchildren and her 46 great grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren.  She loved her siblings children and grands as her own; she was a loving mother not only to her own but many others that she took in, she looked forward to her next two great-grands grandson Romey (Linea) and granddaughter Eva (Vernon)

Her extended family including the BirdinGround, Lincoln, Other Medicine, Bell Rock, Snell, Reed, Beaumont, Pickett families and Winston Pickett family in Canada.  We have a large family; if we have forgotten anyone, please accept our apology in our time of grief.

Gravesite Service and burial was at the Crow Agency Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary had been entrusted with the arrangements.  

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