We just accept – with open heart, open mind, open spirit.

Dr. Canku talks about his experience at Birch Coulee.

Things to think about: 

Do other cultures have beings similar to Little People?

Audio Chapters

DL: Have you been to any of these places that I'll mention, and what are your thoughts about them: Birch Coulee?

CC: I think when I go to Birch Coulee that I have a connection with the Little People of the woods. And they're still watching over some sacred places like Birch Coulee. They honor us Dakota people because they respect the way we live and they respect the natural sense of how we live. We don't want to harm them, we're not so curious about them – we leave them alone. So I think that in a sense, when you go to places like that, we appreciate one another without any evaluation. We just accept – with open heart, open mind, open spirit. So whatever is there we accept, in a good way.

DL: Who are the Little People?

CC: The Little People are--some people call them Will-o-the-Wisp. Some people call them the Natural Guardians of Nature - elves or whatever you want to call them. But to us, they're created by God to be natural entities that protect our sacred sites, our medicines, our food, our water, our – whatever sustains life. They are there to protect it. That's their role.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Dr. Clifford Canku Interviewer Deborah Locke made at Minnesota History Center, St. Paul, MN | Friday, June 10, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. We just accept – with open heart, open mind, open spirit. April 18, 2024. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1017

Viewpoints: All viewpoints expressed on this website are those of the contributors, and are not representative of the Minnesota Historical Society.