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May 15: Teachings of Our Elders - Angeline Fourth Iron Road on Winter

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North Dakota Native American essential understanding number one is about sacred relatives. It states, "Native people practice a deep interconnectedness with the land, the resources, the water, all living things, and all human beings. Land stewardship, respect for all two-legged, four-legged, winged, crawlers, and swimmers, and a strong belief in the sacredness of all human beings are key elements for our spirituality.

On today's Dakota Datebook, we'll hear about the traditions for getting ready for winter from Angeline Fourth Iron Road, Elder from Standing Rock.

Angeline Fourth Iron Road:

Being raised with grandparents, so there's things that we have to do. So we get ready, though, for winter. They used to have a big garden, all of the garden stuff, and put them in root cellars or either in the house. You have a little, I don't know what you call them, the little cellars. And then put them in there for the winter too, because there's no fridge in them days when my grandfather was.

So we learned how to make wasna, cherries and we dry meat, we help our grandmother. And then the tripe from the cow, the stomach, that's what we help clean. And then my grandmother always teaches how to, they want to play, but we have to learn these things. So I'm glad that they taught us all this, and then they should go on, but nobody does all those things. Everything now, since it's all this E B T, and all these things are coming on. They want the fresh pig chars, and crow meat. They don't think about how they're going to survive the next day, because if that runs out, then they nothing to eat. And then they don't know how to put a garden in. But being there for them, I teach them, you should just do it around your house. Get a little shovel, do this. But these are the things we need to teach the younger generation.

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 is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.