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Mathias Michel Buckskin

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“Our thoughts are with Matt's family with his passing. Matt has been a part of this community for as long as I can remember and his presents will be...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: Leigh & Judy Herman

“will miss you uncle , all the stories , all of your special sayings , you stood by many of us during hard times in our lives and you never asked for...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Francis Pierre

“My deepest sympathies for the families and the community who have lost a beloved elder and friend to so many. ”
3 of 4 | Posted by: Evelyn Stevenson

“Sure going to miss you dad,,,I'll always remember to good times when we lived in Dayton...You teaching me how to drive, taking us camping and alot...Read More »
4 of 4 | Posted by: Geneva Glenmore


Mathias "Matt" Michel Buckskin The Happy Hunting grounds has graciously received an accomplished hunter today, amazing War Dancer, and the sweetest spirit...bounding through Mill Creek and Lozeau while leading our ancestors in grand entry. Mathias "Matt" Michel Buckskin passed away on March 20, 2013 at the home of his nephew Michel Kenmille. Matt was born on September 30, 1924 in Niarada, MT to Isadore and Sustine Lefthand Buckskin. In 1945, he married Lucy Moody. They lived and traveled in many different places finally making their home in Dayton, MT. He was a loving husband, dad, grandfather, great grandpa. In his younger years, he could be found riding horses whether they were broke or not. He enjoyed his time as a bronco rider. Matt was avid outdoors man who enjoyed spending time in the woods. He loved to hunt, fish, cut Christmas trees, picking huckleberries and passed on this love to his family. When he got his 1st cell phone he'd call his boys and say "guess where I am calling you from" and it was usually in the woods. He was proud to represent the Kootenai people as the War Dance Chief for Standing Arrow Powwow leading in opening and closing the ceremonies for over 30 years in Elmo and throughout the region. In 2010, he was presented with an arrow, shot by Laurence Kenmille at the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Eagle Circle Dedication in honor of his years of service in World War II. For many years he was the caretaker of the cemeteries in Elmo, Dayton and Lonepine. He always said he liked working in the cemeteries because the people there never talked back. He also said "you shouldn't be scared of the ones in the cemetery because they are all gone; the living is who you need to be scared of". A fluent speaker and teacher of the Kootenai Language, he worked up until recently as a treasured cultural resource, assisting with identifying and cataloging Kootenai cultural sites. He even did a modeling job at one time for Karen Noles for a private painting commissioned out of Canada. He really enjoyed himself that day, posing for the camera. He was worried about his watch showing, but was reassured in the final project the watch would be gone. When the finished project came back he was in awe of the print. Matt loved to travel to Idaho and Canada to visit the old timers. He enjoyed the conversations and company. In his final days, his buddy Matt David traveled over from Idaho to visit one last time. His biggest love was his family, Lucy and Matt had 10 children, 34 grandchildren, and 39 great grandchildren. Matt is preceded in death by his wife Lucy Moody Michel, his parents, his siblings Seymore Michel, Mary Josette, Louise, Pierre, Mary and Isabella "Elizabeth" Kenmille. His Sons: Mathias "baby Junior" Michel, Keith Michel, a daughter Linda "Ducky" Michel, and grandchildren Rene Strahan, Mathias "Robbie" Michel, Leo Hammer and Echo Michel. His nephew Danny Tenas, nieces Levi Lozeau Big Beaver, Dorothy Couture and Caroline Buckskin. He is survived by his spouse Louise Andrew of Niarada, MT. His special grandson Lucas (Stephanie) Michel of Pablo. His children Wilbert (Bev) Michel of Polson, MT, Gilbert (Dora) Buckskin of Elmo, MT, Diane Michel of Dayton, MT, Geneva (Ronnie) Glenmore of Busby, MT, Victor (Linnea) Michel of Lindenhurst, IL, Leonard ( Melissa) Michel of Ronan and Lee Michel of Polson, and a special fondness for his niece Sandra Andrew and nephews Michel "Mike" Kenmille, and Lyle Andrew. He also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, grand and great grandchildren that he would always have to say "now, who are you", and a lifetime of friends. His dog Curly will truly mourn the loss of his best friend. A wake will begin on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm at Elmo Hall. Rosary will start Friday, March 22nd at 8:00 pm. The service will be Saturday, March 23rd at 10:00 am. Burial will take place at Dayton Cemetery. Messages of condolences may be shared with the family online at www.groganfuneralhome.com.