Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 17, 2022

Services for Water Protector and Warrior Joye Braun

Dear Cheyenne River Lakota Oyate Family, please note the funeral information for a Cheyenne River Tribal Member with prayerful consideration:

Joye Michelle Braun, age 53, of Eagle Butte, South Dakota, entered the Spirit World on Sunday, November 13, 2022, at her home in Eagle Butte.

A wake service begins at 7:00 PM, Friday, November 18, 2022, at the Cheyenne River Tribe's Bingo Hall at Eagle Butte. Funeral services will begin at 10:00 AM, Saturday, November 19, at the Bingo Hall. After a luncheon is served, burial will follow at the UCC Cemetery at LaPlant, South Dakota.

Joye Michelle was born in Winnebago Nebraska on January 20 1969 to Sandra Fraizer and Ellsworth LeBeau. Joye and her parents are members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Joye grew up in university communities, mainly in Vermillion South Dakota, and Missoula Montana, as her parents pursued their higher education goals. Her father earned his doctor’s degree in education and her mother earned her MA and Ed.S in counseling.

The Lakota name given to her is "Wanbli Wiya Ka’Win - Eagle Feather Woman."

The family had friends from diverse backgrounds, and Joye and her siblings got to experience people from many different cultures and enjoyed many activities. This had an impressive impact on Joye's interests and activities. It laid the foundations for activism and interest in helping people.

Joye met and married Durin Mundahl’s father while in college at Morris University. She moved home when he was a baby, and later had a beautiful daughter named Morgan Brings-Plenty. Her niece Jasmine C. LeBeau joined the family from time to time during her stay on the reservation and Joye always raised her and took care of her like her own daughter.

Joye was a journalist for the Eagle Butte News and was the first native to be featured as a photojournalist in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Joye remarried and lived for several years in Washington State with her children. When Joye moved home from Washington state she learned about the fight against KXL which was threatening her homelands.

During the fight against KXL Joye fought against the Dakota Access pipeline. she became the first camper to set her tipi at the scared stone camp on Standing Rock reservations. She was the last camp in Ocetii Sakowin Camp when it was closed. Joye then joined the Indigenous Environmental Network with her daughter and niece by her side. Joye became the National Pipeline campaigner for IEN and mentored the youth to use their voices to stand up against the environmental and other threats in their home territories.

Thank you to the Brings-Plenty family, the Le Beau family, Ben Rodd, Robert Walters and family, Kandi White, Simone Senogles, Kathy and Ferron Brings-Plenty, Holy Elk Lafferty, Oscar High Elk, Dallas Goldtooth, Tom Goldtooth, the Locke Family, the Camp Family, the Schryvers family, Richard Walters and family, Rosie Roach, Medina Matonis and family, Rebecca Kidder and family, Melissa Niegal and family, and all the water protectors and Uni Maka protectors, all the members of the Indigenous Environmental Network, all NoKXL and NoDAPL fighters.

Joye is survived by her children, Durin Mundahl and Morgan Brings-Plenty; her parents, Sandra Frazier and Ellsworth Le Beau. Her siblings, Albert Le Beau III and Denise M. Le Beau. Her nephew Emmanuel Schryvers and niece Jasmine C. Le Beau. Her grandchildren Mya Le Beau, Quinton Le Beau, Junior Le Beau, Donovan Guerrero-Le Beau jr.

She was joined in death with her dog Jack-Jack and by her grandmother Ione Lee Walters and her granddaughter Mia Elizabeth Le Beau in LaPlant, South Dakota.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted with Rooks Funeral Home of Eagle Butte.
Charlie Rooks
funeral director

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