Levi Joseph Holt, aka Cimuuxcimuux Taxcpol (Black Beaver), began his journey to be with Creator on Sunday, June 28, 2020.
Levi was born Nov. 14, 1948, to Lewis B. Holt and Elizabeth Cora Holt. He was a proud member of the Escapo Band of Nez Perce, and grew up in the upper reaches of the North Fork Clearwater River. Levi lived a fulfilling life in which he accomplished many great and wonderful things for the people. Levi was a leader, conservationist, musician, artist, carpenter and veteran. Although his most important titles were husband, father and grandfather.
Levi was born at Orofino and lived his childhood years helping his father run the family cattle operation. He lived for a time in Granger, Wash., and those were formative years for him. He graduated from Boise High School and joined the U.S. Army, where he served honorably. After the Army, he moved back to the Nez Perce Reservation and began his career in carpentry. It was then he also began to follow his passion for advocating for the People, the Treaty of 1855, and for the conservation of our Mother Earth. It was during that time he met and married Viola Allen, of Lapwai. They had two children and later divorced.
Levi was a renowned and exemplary leader for the Nez Perce Tribe. He served on the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee from 1992-1995, and again in 2004. He championed the rights of the tribal membership, the sanctity of the Treaty of 1855 with the United States, and tamulwit, a sacred responsibility to the natural world. Whether it was in the halls of Congress, at the National Congress of American Indians, or in boardrooms of conservation organizations around the country, Levi excelled. He spoke with grace and eloquence for the rights of Indigenous people, and for the wolf, salmon, buffalo, clean water and healthy forests. Levi secured the place of many species through his advocacy. His conservation legacy will be as the Voice of the Wolf and their return to the Pacific Northwest.
Levi loved to be an artist. His beautiful music reflected a life filled with tribulation and achievement. As a carpenter, he also utilized his creative passion. He was very proud of the construction projects he supervised and the structures he built. He was a flutist. Levi loved to express himself by the music of his flutes. With his flute, he performed for many special occasions and contributed to many ceremonies. Whether it was with his harmonica, electric slide guitar, hammer or flute, Levi created beauty.
Nurturing and supporting family dominated Levi’s life. He met his wife, Patricia Monter, and they fell deeply in love. They were bright stars in each other’s lives. They breathed life into each other and had a beautiful journey. Levi loved their annual trek to Colorado and spending time with the family. Levi cherished his children. His precious “Little Girl” and beloved “Sonny” were the most important people in his life. He loved his grandchildren and was always their biggest fan. He loved to check in with them and hear the wonderful things they were doing in life. He proudly proclaimed to the world who his children and grandchildren were. He also spent much of his time with nephews and nieces, inspiring them and guiding them with his unique wisdom. Levi believed in the Circle, and embraced his brothers and sisters as leaders of the clan. He spoke honorably of his siblings, and always shared stories of their accomplishments. Levi’s life was full of love, music and relationships. He treasured all of his friends in music and in the conservation community. He spoke highly of you all.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis Holt and Elizabeth Cora Holt, and siblings Ferris Holt, Norman Holt, Claudia Holt-Barnes and Maynard Holt. He is survived by siblings Marcelene and Richard Anderson, of Wapato, Wash., Ronald Holt, of Lapwai, Lewis Holt, of Lapwai, David and Sarah Holt, of Lapwai, Virgil and Sandy Holt Sr., of Lapwai, and Adrian and Angel Holt, of Wapato, Wash.; daughter Clarice and Orlando Villavicencio, of Lapwai, and their children, Koyama’, PoxPox Himi-n, Kahless and Joseph; and son Joseph and Lindsey Holt, of Worley, Idaho, and their children, Shiniah, Ashlee and Jolissa.
Dressing was at Malcom’s Brower-Wann Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Tuesday. At 8 a.m. today the procession will begin to gather at the Nez Perce Tribal Long House at Spalding. At 9 a.m. today the procession will accompany the body to the Jonas Cemetery at Sweetwater. Graveside services will proceed at 10 a.m. To-go dinner plates can be picked up after the graveside service at the Methodist Church. The family appreciates your patience and understanding in implementing social distancing protocols during this difficult time.