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Michael Young Pine

Young Pine, Michael

MICHAEL JAMES OKA YOUNG PINE - SOOTAINA "RAINY CHIEF"    It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Michael after a prolonged illness at Chinook Regional Hospital. He was surrounded by family.

MICHAEL JAMES OKA YOUNG PINE - SOOTAINA "RAINY CHIEF"     It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Michael after a prolonged illness at Chinook Regional Hospital. He was surrounded by family.

Michael was born and raised on the Oka Ranch on the Blood Reserve, which he called home. He met the love of his life in 2005, his daughter Naima Rain Young Pine, the pride and joy of his life! He was so proud of her accomplishments, especially her recent graduation in May. Michael was a loving and supportive father to Naima and all his nieces and nephews. He played a huge father role in the lives of PJ, Jeremy, Jonathan, Nolan, Bradly, Skylar, Danielle, Kateri, and Andrea. He drove them, no matter who it was, to hockey, football, and basketball practices and games including any extra circular activities the kids were involved in. Michael supported all the kids in any way they needed help, by attending graduations, christenings, and ceremonies. He had a special relationship with every one of them; no one was ever left out of the love he had, and his heart was big enough for everyone.  

Michael was nicknamed 'Big Mike' in his early years because of his size, although he was only two pounds when he was born. He loved rodeo, football, basketball, handgames, ceremony, country music and beautiful women. He was baptized catholic growing up, as his parents instilled in him the importance of prayer, faith, and hope. He also supported his dad in ceremonies and was an active Sundancer with the 'late Buster Yellow Kidney & Johnny Day Rider.' Michael's all-time favorite activity was spending time with family at gatherings from BBQs, weddings, and brandings; you name it, he was there. He was recently a born-again Christian and was an active member of the Fire Church of Standoff. 

Michael worked with Kainai Children Services with SPH as a Youth Care Youth, Blood Tribe Youth Ranch, and Horse Medicine as a wrangler to help heal trauma in youth. His late uncle 'Pete' Oka, had recruited Michael, Dennis (Buck) Brave Rock-Young Pine, and Dennis (Sonny) First Rider as wranglers to help Pete's business succeed. Michael was proud to have played football with Kanai Eagles, Cardston Cougars and basketball with the St. Mary's Warriors. Michael went on after high school to play football with the Calgary Colts alongside his brothers, Jonathan Oka, Dion Oka, and Andy Jr. Day Rider. In addition, he was very honored to have coached the Kanai Warriors.  

Michael met his companion Nellie Yellow Horn, and together, they made a home in Standoff, where she cared for him as he battled a long-term illness. Nellie supported him in his recovery medically and lovingly stood by his side until his last breath. Michael was an excellent father, brother, uncle, and son who was devoted to his family. His greatest strength in this life was to love and protect all of us. Michael accepted all his cousins as brothers and sisters, and took all his nieces and nephews as his children; he took all his siblings' grandchildren as his own and strongly believed in the Blackfoot kinship tradition; he kept this practice alive. We will miss Michael's humour, laugh, wittiness, faith, hope, love, and protection by all who dearly knew and loved him. 

Michael is survived by his companion Nellie Yellow Horn; his father, Mike (Angel) Oka; his daughter, Naima Rain Young Pine; his stepchildren: Jada, Seth, Hateya, Carter, Sky, Kobe, and Jaden Yellow Horn; his sisters: Charlene (Keith), Gabriel Young Pine, and Autumn Striped Wolf; his brothers: Dennis Brave Rock-Young Pine and Spirit Striped Wolf; his nephews: Patrick (Gabrielle) Oka, Jeremy (Tory) Oka-Day Rider, Jonathan (Challain) Oka-Day Rider, Nolan Young Pine, Bradly Eagle Bear, Skylar Young Pine, Brandon Hairy Bull, Andre Hairy Bull, and Calean Hairy Bull; his nieces: Danielle Eagle Bear, Kateri Young Pine, Andrea Young Pine and Danielle Hairy Bull; his grandchildren: Kellin, Gianna, Geneva, Talon, Alora, and Siipiinikii; his paternal aunties: Mary Anne (Roy) Murao, Dorothy (Dennis) First Rider, Louise Smith, Veronica Oka-Wells, and Jaqueline (John) Colliflower; his maternal aunties; Valentina Young Pine, Raylene Young Pine, Loretta Young Pine, Kathy Young Pine, and Molly Davis; his paternal uncles: James Oka and Russell (Meraldine) Oka; and his maternal uncles: Pat (Delia) Twigg, Olin (Arlene) Young Pine, and Vernon (Lila) Young Pine. Michael's family includes the Oka's, Young Pine's, Weasel Heads, Crop Ear Wolfs, Russells, Twigg's, Small Eyes, and Fox's. We apologize for any names we missed; it was unintentional.  

He was predeceased by his mother Marlene Oka (née Young Pine); his maternal grandparents: Raymond & Kathleen Young Pine and his paternal grandparents: Mike and Mary Louise Oka; his paternal aunties: Gabrielle Oka, Esther (Keith) Hairy Bull, Roxanne Oka, and Catherine Oka; his paternal uncle, Peter Oka and Franklin Wells; his maternal aunties: May Rose (Mosses) Weasel Head and Darlene Young Pine; his maternal uncle, Raynard Young Pine; his cousins: Jason Young Pine, Derrick Young Pine, Robert Young Pine, Cameron Weasel Head, Kyle Weasel Head, Jeffery Weasel Head and Hailey May Oka.  

The family would like to acknowledge the excellent & thoughtful care he received from the nurses & staff at the Chinook Regional Intensive Care Unit.  

A Family Viewing will be held at CORNERSTONE FUNERAL HOME, 2825 - 32 Street South, Lethbridge, AB on Tuesday, June 13th, 2023 from 3:00 to 4:00 P.M. Following the Family Viewing, the Wake Service will be held at the residence of Mike Oka, NE 36-5-24 W4th (land location), Blood Reserve, AB from 6:00 to 10:00 P.M.

The Traditional Funeral Service will be held at Mike Oka's Residence on Wednesday, June 14th, 2023, at 11:00 A.M.

Michael will be interred at Mike Oka's Family Cemetery.