Amelia “Amy" Cutsack Trice, 75, passed away on Thursday, July 21, 2011 at Deaconess Medical Center.
A wake was held on Sunday, July 24, 2011, at 5 p.m. in the Kootenai Tribal Hall, with a rosary on Monday evening at 7. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at 11 a.m. at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. She was buried at St. Michael's Mission Cemetery.
Amy was born on April 26, 1936, in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, to Helen and Baptiste Cutsack.
Although childhood tuberculosis brought Amy sporadically to a sanitarium for treatment, she managed to obtain her education. She went to the Kootenai Tribal School, Chemewa Indian School and Bonners Ferry Public School.
In 1954, Amy married Xavier Aitken with whom she had six children. Although things did not work out with Xavier, Amy found love again with David Trice whom she married in 1969.
When Amy was just 20 years old, she began serving on the Kootenai Tribal Council, first as secretary and later as Chairwoman. She treasured her fellow Kootenais and was a tireless advocate for their well-being.
In 1974, Amy led the Kootenai people into a war against the United States to obtain the resources necessary for the tribe's survival. Her courageous story was told in the documentary, “Idaho's Forgotten War."
Amy was involved in many organizations that promoted women and Indian people's concerns. She was a founding member of Upper Columbia United Tribes (UCUT), received the Women of Color Alliance Breaking Barriers for Women of Color in Idaho Award and the Chairman's Award from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes.
Amy was a member of St. Ann's Catholic Church and belonged to the Altar Society. She took part in cultural exchanges with other women in the church by helping to teach beadwork and learning their sewing techniques.
Amy was known by friends and family for her generosity, always welcoming people into her home. She had a playful spirit and enjoyed a good laugh, especially at what she considered her own silliness.
She loved being on the pow-wow trail where she spent long happy nights playing stick game with friends. In her 60s, she discovered water aerobics and a new community of women whom she befriended.
She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Agatha I, Phillip, Sara, Terry, Dominic, Andrew, Maurice and Agatha II.
She is survived by her beloved husband, David Trice; children: Rex Aitken, Mildred Aitken-Rodriguez, Lawrence Aitken, Gary Aitken, Sr, Bernadine Boy Chief, and Robert Aitken, 16 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.