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Oliver Gourd tells a story

North Dakota Native American Essential Understandings Number Four is about sense of humor. It states, "Native people have a rich history of shared sense of humor that includes teaching stories involving Iktomi, Maymaygwisi and Nanabozhoo. These stories and this unique sense of humor continue to support our resiliency and cohesiveness”.

In today's episode of Dakota Datebook, we'll hear Oliver Gourd, enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation, tell the story, "Francis Goes to the Clinic."

Oliver Gourd:

Way back when I was small, my mother used to get after my dad all the time. He used to tease her relatives. One time he had this relative, name was Francis Little Goose, and he had health problems. So, one day his wife took him to the clinic, and he's hard of hearing too. So, he went in there and finally they say "Francis." He got up looked to his wife, doctor said "No, no, just him." So, he went in there, was talking to him, checked him over, checked everything. He did everything. Physical.

He said, "Francis, I can't see what's wrong with you." He said, "Nothing is wrong with you." He said, "A little work won't kill you." He said, "Okay." Must been kind of heavyset or something. He came out and his wife was anxious. He said, "The doctor said, If I do little work it's going to kill me." He could hardly hear. We have a lot of jokes like that. She's got some good ones.

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

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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