© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

April 15: Teachings of Our Elders - Gladys Hawk on language and culture loss

Ways To Subscribe

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 Gladys Hawk, enrolled member of the Standing Rock Nation, as she talks about language and culture loss.

Gladys Hawk:

I think it would be important for them to know that it was taken away from us in the late 1800s by the federal government. And so they established schools and had our ancestors taken away from their families to get them assimilated into the society, the new society, as they say, so that we could become farmers, for example, or we could become teachers maybe or bakers or cooks or whatever. And so that concept came on down until it reached the point where now women are just as equal to men in positions of work or employment. But anyway, that part of our culture has changed through the years. In 1995, they brought back our language through the act of Congress, and then well before that, in 1978, they told us that we could practice our religion. That was law that became, and it's been part of our culture forever until it was taken from us. And then there's a whole span of two generations, I will say, where we couldn't do anything, and that's where we lost a lot of cultural stuff, our practicing our ways. But now it's different. It's coming back.

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.