Francis ‘Chubbs’ Thunder Hawk passed on November 13, 2019.
Francis Chub Thunder Hawk, Tasunke Kinye lived life doing what he loved, riding on many horseback rides and singing Lakota songs. He was a lowan wicasa. He composed many Lakota songs. He was a spiritual leader and taught and mentored many youth on horsemanship, Lakota songs, drum, culture, Tokala Dance Styles, and language. He lived in humility. He was a fluent Lakota speaker. He rode in the Unpan Gleska Wokiksuye Memorial ride (Big Foot Memorial) for 32 years, Peji Sla-Little Big Horn ride for 27 years, Standing Rock Chief’s ride for 20 years, and Sobriety ride for 10 years.
(Excerpt from a tribute on Native Sun News – click to read the full article)
“Chubbs,” as he was widely known, was a deeply loved and revered Elder. He was a long-time supporter and contributor of wisdom to the ManKind Project in innumerable soulful ways. Chubbs is Becky Chief Eagle’s father. Becky and Dallas Chief Eagle are the founders of the All Nations Gathering Center near Martin, South Dakota (https://www.allnationsgatheringcenter.org/).
The mission of the All Nations Gathering Center is “To provide a safe, nourishing, loving environment so our loved ones can reconnect, learn and heal one another with their medicines and gifts.” Since its founding, men and women connected to the ManKind Project have had the gift of participating in numerous healing rituals at this space. Over the last decades, MKP has experienced the benefit of engaging with the medicines and gifts of hundreds of indigenous men and women from the Pine Ridge Reservation. Chubbs was vital to these relationships and opportunities.
His gifts touched thousands of people across decades, across cultures, and across many thousands of miles. It’s been reflected that he brought a tangible sense of the mystery to every interaction, and the love and hope he held for the future was transmitted through every conversation.
He will be deeply missed by so many.
Every person I listen to … sometimes … I close my eyes and try to really understand … I close my eyes, and listen to the spirits of each one. ~ Francis ‘Chubbs’ Thunder Hawk
The ManKind Project USA has had the honor of being in relationship with the All Nations Gathering Center, and having the opportunity to participate in healing events for indigenous people from a number of tribes. The ManKind Project has also had the honor of offering what wisdom we have to give, gifting the full content of the New Warrior Training Adventure to the All Nations Gathering Center through a formal agreement.
David Bauerly, former MKP USA Chairman and Full Certified NWTA Leader had this to say about the agreement, “It was him [Chubbs] that made sure we were able to form the alliance. Dallas, David Kaar and I sat in a restaurant in Minneapolis and developed the idea, but it would never have happened had it not been for the weight of Chubbs behind the idea. We certainly have benefited more than they have from this adventure, at least in my mind. This, is a huge loss.”
At the time of the agreement, ManKind Project Founder Rich Tosi said, “What we offer now in this alliance is what we have to give, in the hope that community and healing will continue to grow in Pine Ridge. I think what is called for, and what I feel, is humility.”
We open our hearts and prayers to the Thunder Hawks, Chief Eagles, and the hundreds of families who will be impacted by this loss. Since Chubbs’ passing, a number of remembrance ceremonies have been held. Included are a couple of photos from one of the ceremonies for Chubbs.
We invite you to consider making a gift to the All Nations Gathering Center in honor of Chubbs.
Reflections … please add your thoughts to the remembrances in the Facebook Comments on the page.
David Bauerly, Former MKP USA Chair
This feels like a historical moment. A loss of cultural knowledge, a reserve of wisdom of our world and a tradition that has been lessened by this passing. Chubbs was the most humble man I ever met in my 67 years. It is hard to imagine the world without him, he was just so “of this world.”
I had the privilege of having Chubbs serve as an elder on a few NWTA weekends I led. His observations were so mystical and spot on when sharing what he witnessed, as men did deep soul work.
Many years ago while on Pine Ridge to lead an ST1 training, the universe interrupted our plans when a buffalo showed up. I was invited by him to witness the harvest of the buffalo that had escaped from a local ranch and wandered onto the space we were in. An escaped buffalo can not be returned as it will teach the others how to get out again and they can be destructive to the farmland. After contacting other elders, state agencies, local farmers etc, we went out the next morning.
So, I went on this incredible cultural immersion. It was such a privilege to learn what the buffalo meant to the Lakota and how the genocide changed their magnificent culture forever by wiping the herds out. BUT, mainly it was my honor to have been in his space often, and to have learned from this man who knew at least 300 Lakota songs, none of which were ever written down.
I cherish having gone along with him to Hawaii to the MKP elder gather several years ago and watching as he did some workshops with the men attending. I am deeply sad at his passing so young. My love goes out to his family and all who loved Chubbs.
Julien Devereux, Former MKP USA Chair
Alex Haley wrote that when an old person dies it is like a library burning, so much knowledge and wisdom is lost. Chubbs wisdom was given freely by him to anyone who would listen. I remember him saying that each of us has a medicine and our job is to figure out how to bring it into the world. So many blessings from him bestowed on all of us. Becky and Dallas and all your relations, peace and love be with you in this time of grieving.
Memorial Video made for the wake and in celebration of Francis “Chubbs” Thunder Hawk – October 26, 1944 ~ November 13, 2019