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Vincent Grant on Rendezvous Reenactors

North Dakota Native American Essential Understanding number two is about learning and storytelling. It states, "Traditional teaching and the passing on of knowledge and wisdom was done through storytelling, song, ceremony, and daily way of life, often incorporating specific gender and age specific responsibilities. These continue to be some of the best modes for learning for both native and non-native learners."

In this episode of Dakota Datebook, we'll listen to Vincent Grant, enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa talk about contemporary rendezvous reenacters.

Vincent Grant:

They traded for tobacco and all the other things they mentioned and iron knives and tomahawk heads and ax heads and cooking kettles and whatnot. So it was quite a little deal that hit rendezvous. So we've got a reenactment group that I belong to, mostly Minnesota crews. We got a few from North Dakota, but mostly Minnesota. So we have, rendezvous is like eight or nine of them a year. We go in and have a weekend, three days, four days, rendezvous, and then they have a northwest area rendezvous, and it's seven or nine states up in the north central part there. And you usually have a nine day rendezvous. So you go in on a Friday and then you're, all the, there all the week till the next Sunday, and all the different clubs get together and put on competitions and exhibitions and like that.

So it's quite an interesting thing, deal. So I brought some stuff, like I showed you, the beaver that they trapped for. It wasn't only beaver, though, they trapped for coyotes and fox and raccoons make, they brought buffalo hides and deer hides, elk hides, whatever they could get a hold of. They brought it all in to trade it all, and they would, as they hunted they'd take what they needed from the animal or what they could use. They'd take all the meat and horns and hooves and bones and sinew and everything else, and they used it.

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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