We had to work to do it

Mr. Little Crow talks about living his culture and traditions as part of his growing up years.

Audio Chapters

DL: What did you learn about Dakota history while you were growing up? By history we usually look at dates and events. Did you learn anything about that while you were growing up? Probably not in school but…

ML: No, not in school, we weren’t taught history or culture or nothing but as we grew up we lived in our culture and traditional ways so we don’t have to be taught that in school. We learned that from our elders and grandparents or whoever wanted to tell us. We listened; we sat there and listened to what we were told and what to believe. That’s how it was then.

DL: Do you have grandchildren?

ML: Oh yes.

DL: Do you do the same thing with them?

ML: I would say yes. I’ve got my daughters and my sons. I tell them about our culture and traditional ways of life and how we used to live, the hardships we had comparing it to today. I taught them about that. This is how we used to do it and this is how we carry on to be who we are today. But with today’s modern living with power and with heat, natural gas and all that, life is different. At one time we burned wood. We had to haul water. Now today we’ve got running water from the taps and everything. At one time we all did everything by hand. We had to work to do it. You know that’s how we get our experience of living where you… I myself know if ever something happened where there was no power or no heat or nothing, I’ll live because I know how to survive on just wood to keep warm and all that.

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. We had to work to do it May 21, 2024. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1500

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