October 27, 1957 ~ April 11, 2023
MANKATO, MN — David Allen Brave Heart “Mahpiya Ska” made his journey to the Spirit World surrounded by his family on April 11, 2023 in Mankato, MN. David was born on October 27, 1957 in Watford City, ND to Basil Albert Brave Heart and Deolores Iva (Hopkins) Brave Heart.
David graduated from Chisago City High School, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD and worked as a PE teacher and coach on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Later, Dave worked as a cultural consultant in Minnesota with American Indian prison inmates, focusing on lowering recidivism rates, healing, sobriety, and supporting cultural identity. He owned Brave Heart Construction in Colorado where he practiced and taught natural building techniques, including strawbale construction. Dave loved his work as a Prevention Specialist with Tribal Tech, LLC, a Native American women-owned small business dedicated to providing better health, security, and well-being for all.
Dave married Sara Chaffee in September 2000 in Taylors Falls, MN, and they’ve been an active part of the Mankato community since 2011. He served as Treasurer of the Mankato Reconciliation Pow Wow from 2012-2016 and Chairman from 2016-2022. Dave was a former member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, and was also active in Dakota/Lakota culture and spirituality. His hobbies and interests included making drums, playing the Native American cedar flute, fishing, gardening, beekeeping, woodworking, cooking, grilling, baking, and remodeling. Some of Dave’s most treasured accomplishments included working in prevention and healing with Native American people. Dave was also a traditional singer which encouraged his 48 years of sobriety.
David is survived by his wife, Sara Brave Heart of Mankato; children, Michael White of Bemidji, Gerald (Alexis) Veaux of Winnebago, Cyrus Brave Heart of Mankato, and Clementine Brave Heart of Mankato; grandchildren, Kie, Sean, Alaina, Lincoln, and Amayah; father and step-mother, Basil and Charlotte Brave Heart of Pine Ridge, SD; and siblings, Carla (Bill) Gaseoma, Robert (Evaleen) Brave Heart, Maggie (Rob) Cole, Connie (Benny) Moreno, Stacy Brave Heart, and Stephanie Drake.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Dolores Miller; and son, Cedar Brave Heart.
Pallbearers will be BJ Brave Heart, Brandon Brave Heart, Amery Brave Heart, Forrest Dugg, Shawn Bugg, Walt Swan, Jr., Nick Gibbons, and Mac Goings.
Honorary pallbearers will be Tribal Tech LLC Staff, Mankato Wacipi Committee, 38+2 Memorial Riders, The City of Mankato, and All Friends & Relatives
Wake Services: One night wake service starting at 3:00 PM, Monday, April 17, 2023 at the Brother Rene Hall in Oglala, SD.
Funeral Service: 10:00 AM, Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at the Brother Rene Hall in Oglala, SD
Traditional Lakota Services: Mr. Mike Carlow, Jr.
Burial Services: Brave Heart Family Cemetery, Pine Ridge, SD
Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD
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