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May 31: Teachings of Our Elders - Mary Bateman on Living Off The Land

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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 of our spirituality.

In this episode of Dakota Datebook, we'll listen to Mary Bateman, enrolled member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, as she talks about living off the land.

Mary Bateman:

My dad used to, they used to like to go hunting. People used to like to go hunting. So there you went in groups, and they went down to the woods. Now it's all underwater, but of course there was a deer and different animals, prairie chickens and all that. So they made dried meat. Yeah. They made that and then they put it away. And then of course you cook it with other things. And then of course you got your corn and you got your squash and they dried squash.

And I could see my by a bit of very thin, and they had to scaffold what I remember, they had to scaffold. I says, Oh, I'm so glad that I able to see what they do. My mother and I mean my grandmother's. And they dried the squash. And then they put it up there and they know I dried. And then of course the choke cherries, they had a little stone. And this is going way back. Yeah. Little stone. And it had a little, I suppose, for doing that all the time. It made a little dent in there. And then they have that and they made little patties.

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.