Debra Jeanette ‘Debbie’ Attikai
April 3, 1959 – June 20, 2020
Graveside services for Debra Jeanette “Debbie” Attikai, 61, of Fort Thompson, SD, were held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 25, 2020, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery of Stephan, SD.
A wake was held from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 25, 2020, at the Ella Rencountre residence of Fort Thompson, SD.
Debra Jeanette “Debbie” Attikai (Wica Duta Win) journeyed to the Spirit World on June 20, 2020, from the Chamberlain Care Center of Chamberlain, SD.
Debra Jeanette “Debbie” Attikai (Wica Duta Win) entered Maka Ina in the Oceti Sakowin Oyate on April 3, 1959, to Thelma Black Tongue and Whitney Rencountre.
She was an elder member of the Crow Creek Dakota Tribe.
She was a tomboy as a child and not scared of anything so her Tuwin nicknamed her “Nuisance.” She climbed high areas and across creeks so she broke her arm three times, once on a bucking barrel.
She rode horse out to the old house where her Uncle Jack bought her a Shetland horse. She grew up with her cousins – Theresa, Carol, Tammy, Sharen, Carol, Bonnie, Madonna, Estaline, Larry, Jr, Van, Joe, Allen, Tubbs,
Gale and Jennifer.
When her Tiwahe moved to East End District during the 1960s, her family became Milly D., Joane/Ione WL, Llewelln BM, Georgianne WB, Jaunita O. and Mary D. She attended school at Fort Thompson, SD, and then
Pierre Indian School of Pierre, SD, where her close friends, Barbara SJ, Carol POH, and Monica H. were the “gang.”
Her first car was a black/red Dodge Charger she bought with her first paycheck. All of East End would load in the car and go for rides.
She graduated from Southwestern Polytechnical Institute in Albuquerque, NM, in 1985 with a degree in office management. She moved to Aberdeen, SD, to work at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She worked at Swift Horse Lodge for a number of years, then the BIA Law Enforcement Assistance.
Her last employment was as the recording secretary at Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. She was on the enrollment committee.
She advocated for the sacredness of women and children as well as their safety. She was remembering her Dakota language in her later years. She taught it to her takojas and spoke it to everyone. She really enjoyed talking weekly to her son-in-law, Hector Castrellon whom she loved very much.
Her powerful Sicun let her communicate with relatives who were having a hard time. In 2000, she helped found the Hunkpati Descendants where the grassroots people formed to help get unequality out and bring back integrity to the tribe. This brought unity, awareness and strong elders guiding the group, most important wocekiya-prayer and equality were the strong points.
She was a great baker/cook. Her favorite things were candy bars, Diet Coke, cherries and blueberries.
Deb met Frank Attikai when she moved to Denver, CO. They married June 9, 1980, in Pierre, SD, then moved to Wheatland, WY, where Frank worked as an iron worker/welder. They moved to Pierre, SD, and then even-
tually came back home to the Crow Creek Tribe in Fort Thompson, SD.
They just celebrated 30 years of marriage.
Grateful for having shared her life are her children, sons, Jerome and Cedar Attikai of Mitchell, SD, Burton Sells of Window Rock, AZ, Chris Rencountre of Fort Thompson, SD, and Hector Castrellon of Los Angeles,
CA; daughters, Vallie Rencountre of Sioux Falls, SD, and Thelma Attikai of Fort Thompson, SD; grandchildren, Lily, Hector, Jr., Danny, Jr., Frankie II, Cante Ohitika, Cante Skuya, Meriah, Drakelyn, J’king, Azalea, William,
Jr. and William’s daughter; sisters, Belinda Fay, Mona, Ella, Kathy, Lana, Blossom, Gina, Lisa, Donna, Viola and Cindy – Hunka Paulita Drapeau; brothers, Allen, Kenny, Randy – Hunka Wayne Two Hawks and Jim Cald-
well; cousins, Larry Rencountre and Gale Rencountre; godchildren, Louis Heminger and Travis Fire Cloud and all her many relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Whitney and Thelma Rencountre; brothers, Joshua Rencountre and Allen Rencountre and a godson, Gary Walking Bull.
Hickey Funeral Chapel of Chamberlain, SD, was in charge of arrangements.
The obituary may be seen at www.hickeyfuneralchapel.com.