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Featured Artist Works Displayed in the Offices of the Governor

October, November, December 2011 - Bernice Sitting Crow Estes (formerly of Newtown)

Bio information provided by Marilyn Hudson, ThreeAffiliatedTribesMuseum Executive Director

Bernice was a fascinating person, soft-spoken, articulate, and always well-groomed. She embraced many of the Eastern religious philosophies about the interrelationship of mind, body and spirit. She believed in the psychic nature of mankind and all living things. These beliefs were interwoven with her own traditional Mandan beliefs learned from her grandparents.

Bernice often spoke of life as a personal journey that had many hardships and heartbreaks along the way. It seemed she always took the road less traveled, and out of that forged a rather unique lifestyle. She credits her faith in what she called “the Great Spirit” to help her through the difficult times in life. Her autobiography, “They Called Me Sweetgrass” chronicles the joys and sorrows of her life.

After Bernice’s husband passed away in 1978, she moved to Bellevue, an upscale suburb of Seattle and returned to her old love of literature and painting. For the next several years she devoted her time to artwork, working mostly with oils. Her paintings reflect the influence of her Mandan heritage and the earth tones of nature.

From 1997 to 2000, Bernice spent the summer months in New Town getting reacquainted with friends and relatives and volunteering her time at the Three Affiliated Tribes Museum. During this time, she gave the Museum a deed to several original oils and stipulated in her will they were to “come home to Fort Berthold,” the land of her birth. 

Shortly after returning to Bellevue, she was diagnosed with throat cancer. Bernice Sitting Crow Estes was 86 when she passed away on April 12, 2009 in Bellevue, Washington. She was born on September 10, 1922 in New Town, North Dakota.

Bernice’s artwork is currently on loan from the Three Affiliated Tribes Museum, PO Box 147, New Town, ND. For more information on the Museum, call 701-627-4477 or Email tatmuseum@restel.net.

Bernice Estes images
At One With The Great Spirit
Tee Pees
At One With The Great Spirit

Tee Pees

Grandfather
Grandmother's Blanket
Grandfather
Grandmother's Blanket
Brother's Peace Pipe
Brother's Peace Pipe
Great Spirits Handiwork
Great Spirits Handiwork
 
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