Last week’s remembrance of those lost over the past year in Blackfeet Country unfortunately did not include an obituary that had appeared in the Glacier Reporter. In going through the archives, I missed Nora Lukin, and I apologize to her family and friends for the oversight.
Another important person who passed last year was Darrell Norman, and while his obituary was not in the paper last year, his wife, Angelika, supplied information for this week’s issue.
Nora was born to Brian and Ida (Johnson) Connolly Sept. 12, 1919, in Browning. She was the oldest enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation and the only surviving Original Allottee of this tribe. She turned 100 in September 2019. Nora lived on the Blackfeet Reservation except for schooling in Bismarck, No. Dak., and Lawrence, Kan. She traveled extensively, having visited 24 countries and written travelogues of most of her trips. She has maintained family and local history records and has been interviewed for a number of history projects.
Nora was the self-employed owner of the TeePee Café and Fabric Store. Later, she owned and operated the Blackfeet Trading Post, selling the Blackfeet Trading Post at the age of 75. She also owned farm land that she managed herself. She loved to sew, making mostly patchwork quilts and various items for the local Christmas Bazaars. She was also a member and supporter of local 4-H and rodeo.
Darrell was an artist specializing in Blackfeet tribal art forms, both contemporary and traditional, based on Blackfeet design, imagery and symbolism. He learned traditional art forms, drums, rattles, shields and parfleche work from Blackfeet elders and artists.
After 36 years of living in Seattle, Darrell returned to the reservation in 1991 and in 1993 began the Lodgepole Gallery and Tipi Village in Browning.
In 2002 he was awarded the Community Spirit Award from the First Peoples Fund, in 2004 the Artists in Business Leadership Award (First Peoples Fund), the Outstanding Alumni Award 2007 from North Seattle Community College and a second time Artists In Business Leadership Award 2009 from the First Peoples Fund. In recognition of artistic excellence and contribution to the preservation of Montana’s cultural heritage, Darrell has been inducted into Montana’s Circle of American Masters in Visual Folk & Traditional Arts by the Montana Arts Council in 2012.