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Kenneth Jerome Hill on his name, Helping Boy

North Dakota Native American Essential Understanding number three is about sharing and generosity. It states, Native people have rich traditions of sharing and generosity, which include gifting, shared meals, powwow gatherings, shared living spaces, and care for relatives, including the environment, natural resources and waters.

In this episode of Dakota Datebook, we'll listen to Kenneth Jerome Hill, enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Nation, talking about his name, Helping Boy.

Kenneth Jerome Hill:

That's one of the things that I was really, that's why when my Indian name was given of Helping Boy, that when I got old enough to understand the way that it was, my dad and my mom would told me how generosity, your name is Helping Boy. That's what they give you that name for. You have to help whoever is in need. No matter what, if you don't have it or you know, try to help them the best you can and up to this day, I still live up to that.

I do a lot of hunting and stuff, and I hunt for others that can't hunt or people that need things. If I have it, I'll help them out. I help them out any way I can and I can't say no because, while in a to Dakota way, somebody asks you for anything and you're not supposed to say no anyway.

A way of taking care of your elders and those that are in need. I was brought up in that era where we had to. I was always help people. We lived in the log house days and we didn't have no electricity, no running water. We used to always have to haul water and wood and help others that are less fortunate that can't get out and get wood. We used to help them get, so it's something that I was taught from early stages, you know?

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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