The Ranger (beta)

Fremont County's Daily Newspaper

News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.

Ranger Login

Justin James Big Knife

Mar 31, 2013 - Staff

Justin James Big Knife of Fort Washakie died Friday, March 15, 2013, at his home. He was 24 years old.

Services were conducted by Bunny Shoyo, and journey songs were sung by Brian Standingrock, Gus Thayer, Willow Thayer and Pearl Jams.

He was buried Thursday, March 21, at Sacajawea Cemetery.

Justin James Big Knife was born May 23, 1988, in Lander, the son of Aaron Big Knife Sr. and Roddeen Ingawanup.

His grandparents Yvonne and Skychild Big Knife raised Mr. Big Knife from childhood to his teenage years with the help of Georgina Denny.

He attended Fort Washakie schools and Wyoming Indian High School. He graduated from Rocky Boy High School in Montana in 2006. While there, he played basketball for the Northern Stars.

Mr. Big Knife returned to Fort Washakie in August 2009 before his son was born.

He grew up in the traditional way and the powwow way of life, and he loved dancing grass and chicken.

His family said he enjoyed spending time with family and friends; he had a lively spirit and a big heart and was a respectable young man.

They said he liked the outdoors, and he enjoyed cooking, hunting, fishing, taking long rides, working on cars, doing beadwork, working on his regalia, listening to music, helping out others, and gambling, especially at Montana casinos.

When he was younger he liked to compete in different sports: basketball, cross country, football and track. Mr. Big Knife and his brothers rode motor bikes and cruised around on four-wheelers and go carts.

He is survived by his wife, Shawna Big Knife (Day Child); son Payton Rains; daughter Kiera Lee Big Knife; father Aaron Big Knife Sr. and his wife Sheila; mother Roddeen Ingawanup; stepmother Georgina Denny; brothers Willieroy, Hank Smith, Tristan, Walker and Whitney Wesaw; baby brother Justin Seminole Jr. (Bubba); grandparents Yvonne and Skychild Big Knife and Vina Ingawanup; uncles Pursley and Lex Big Knife; aunts Mandy Harding (Rob); great-grandmother Angelina Wagon; mother-in-law Noreen Day Child; father-in-law Martin WeaselBoy; brothers-in-law Waylon (Terissa), Elliott (Shalona) and Terrance Day Child; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and friends from all over powwow country.

He was preceded in death by his great-grandfather, Delphine Clair; great-grandmother Vida Stump; grandfather Shawn Clair; uncles Walt J. Big Knife and Winston "Chiefy" Spoonhunter; and sister Jovan Willow-Roy.

Related content: