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Mary Bateman on Agricultural Practices

North Dakota Native American essential understanding number six is about native contributions. It states native people continue to contribute to all levels of society, from local to global in diverse fields including medicine, science, government, education, economics, art, music and many more.

On today's Dakota Datebook, we'll gain some important wisdom about agricultural practices from Mary Bateman, elder and enrolled member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara nation.

Mary Bateman:

They could go into that and find out the harms and things that can harm people. There was one man, I was just thinking. He was treating his wheat, putting in and they was treating the wheat. So of course he took the chemicals and put them in for growth and he was a kind of stocky man and so afterwards, well, he got sick and that was from that chemicals and I said, "If that can do that..." He got cancer of the liver and I said, "If that does that to them, what is it?" Because you water your fields and you got your fishes and you got... Yeah. All these things should be looked after. See, Yeah. They should do a lot of studying and I was just thinking, "Oh my goodness, I wish your boys would get somebody of our getting interested in science and everything." And that's going to take a lot of encouragements for us too. For our people to push them ahead and help them to get ahead then.

If you'd like to learn more about the North Dakota Native American essential understandings, and to listen to more Indigenous elder interviews, visit

Dakota Datebook: Teachings of Our Elders is produced with support from and in collaboration with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

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