On August 30, 2019 creator decided bring one of the best home. On April 1, 1957 Barney Dean Finley was born in St. Ignatius, Montana to Susan Hewankorn Blixt. He was a proud member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation. He always said he was proud to be Ktunaxa Aqtsmakn'ik and a Dayton Creek Kootenai.
Growing up he learned about life and traditional ways from his Kapapa Jerome. He looked up to his brothers and considered them his heroes. He cared about his cultural and spiritual ways. He was a keeper of his native language. He was a wonderful role model to the community because he cared so much about people. He strongly believed in getting an education and graduated with three college degrees. He received two Associates degrees and one Bachelor's degree. He had an A.A. in Native American Studies, and an A.A. in Elementary Education. He furthered his education through a program with Western Montana College to obtain his B.A. in Elementary Education. He became student of the year one year with a GPA of 3.73.
Some of his favorite things to do were hunting, fishing, canoeing, making cedar baskets, beading, and being a proud father. He loved and cherished his children with all his heart and soul. He enjoyed playing basketball with them, and reading stories. He would do many activities with them. The thing he enjoyed the most in life was playing his favorite game - Stickgame. He taught his kids and loved traveling as a family to various Stickgame tournaments and pow-wows.
He was a teacher for 22 years at Two Eagle River School. Teaching was his passion and he inspired many students. He had a big heart and always wanted to help people. His students were a big part of his life, he even gave nicknames to some of them. Later in life, he became a Residential Councelor at Kicking Horse Job Corps. In his life he overcame so many hardships that made him such a strong man and Father. He loved his family above everything. His family was his world. He would always say to tell your loved ones you love them because life is precious, and so he always made sure to tell his loved ones he loved them.
Barney is survived by his Brother Vernon Finley (Elaine, Jerome, Olivia); his Daughters Susan Finley (Jack & Douglas), Barbara Finley (Dean, Hamen, & Teeney), Jennifer Morigeau, and Alisha Ortlandt; his Sons Jason Finley (Amanda, Ila & Jameson), Calvin Ortlandt, Matt Howard; his Sisters Naida Lefthand, and Sonia Chippewa; his In-Laws Pierre Malatare, Paul Malatare, Harriet Malatare, And Carolyn Madplume; his grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation for family & friends will begin at 8pm Saturday August 31st at Fosters Funeral Home in St. Ignatius. His wake will begin at noon Sunday September 1st in Elmo at KCC Hall, & his Roserary will follow at 8pm that night. His services will be at 11am Monday September 2nd with his burial at Dayton Cemetery