We are truly blessed to work with some very special families! The first memorial we did for this family was for Annie Billy. We read a newspaper article about her that said she did not have a headstone, so we offered to donate one. She was such an amazing woman. She was credited with saving the Yakama nation. Kis-'am-xay, as she was called, was born in 1845. As a child, she watched her elders sign the Treaty of 1855. A century later, as the only living witness of the signing, she was asked by tribal leaders to testify before congress who were considering a request to break up the Yakama Reservation. Although frail and blind, Kis-'am-xay delivered a powerful testimony in 1954 that convinced congress that doing away with the Yakama Tribe would be a crime. Six years later she died at 115 years old. She was a warrior! She fought in conflicts with other tribes and US soldiers. She was known for sneaking into camps and stealing ammunition. She also carried shrapnel from being shot. She used to call herself "a wild Indian fighting for the land."
Annie Billy was a Medicine Woman, well known for her healing abilities.
She was a Historian. History was passed down through stories & her stories would not end in a day. They could go on for days & even weeks.
Annie Billy and daughter, Elsie Pistolhead
We also were privileged to do the headstone for Annie's daughter, Elsie Pistolhead. She was an actress most known for her role as Takanapsaluk in "On Deadly Ground" with Steven Seagal and Michael Caine. Elsie was a Medicine Woman like her mother.
In the photo on her headstone, Elsie is wearing Annie Billy"s basket hat and we also carved it on the top left corner of the stone. We were thankful to be able to help by carving history & "Memories In Stone!"