Thursday, November 21, 2019

Dakota Moon Counting Tradition, A Poster

Above, a screen capture of the Dakhóta moons throughout the year.
Haŋwíyawapi Wičhóh'aŋ Kiŋ
óta Moon Counting Tradition
Bismarck, N.D. (The First Scout) (Updated) - The Isáŋyathi, Dakhóta-speaking people east of the Red River of the north, east of the Big Sioux River, follow a twelve-month calendar. 

Their calendar system is much like that the moon counting tradition of the Thítȟuŋwaŋ, the Lakȟóta-speaking people west of the Missouri River. There are sometimes more than one name for the month, but each month reflected a deep relationship with that the people have with the environment. This informs us, that there was a long occupation and a record of observation for the people to survive and adapt to the landscape. 

Feedback from Spirit Lake informs us that the Dakhóta did, in fact, employ a thirteen-month traditional calendar. The twelve-month calendar indicates assimilation. Philámayaye Lekší. 

The historic Očhéthi Šakówiŋ held a world-view perspective that was south-oriented. Taking this into account, then the rotation of the moon and the rotation of the earth around the sun would give us a moon calendar layout that looks like the poster above with the cycle of the moons and the phases of the moons "read" in a counter-clockwise manner.

Of course, the 
Očhéthi Šakówiŋa would never have laid out images like this, rather, they kept track of the moons with counting sticks.

Get your copy of this 36"x48" poster of the Dakhóta Moon Counting Tradition for FREE. Share this with others and your classroom today. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Historical Record On Beaver Creek

WA NA TA, THE CHARGER, Grand Chief of the Sioux, by Charles King Bird.
Missing Narrative In North Dakota
Historical Record On Beaver Creek

By Dakota Wind
Linton, N.D. (The First Scout) – There is a great long gradual rise on the vast open prairie between the Mnišóše (The Water-Astir, or “Missouri River”) and Čhaŋsáŋsaŋ Wakpá (White Birch River, or “James River”). The Iháŋkthuŋwaŋna (Little End Village, or “Yanktonai”) who occupied this region for hundreds of years call this rise Ȟé Mníšoše, the Water-Astir Ridge. The French called it the Coteau du Missouri.

The Očhéthi Šakówiŋ often know places by two or more names. An everyday name for everyday things like hunting or gathering. A site may have a special or spiritual significance. The Middle Dakhóta called the Water-Astir Ridge, just that, when they hunted and gathered. When they prayed there, when they put their relatives to rest on the coteau, they called it Wanáǧi Tȟamákhočhe, or Country of the Spirits.

For the Dakhóta, the Water-Astir Ridge begins in the north by Šuŋk’óthi Pahá, or Wolf Den Butte, which is today called Dogden Butte. The coteau reaches southwest to a point near the North Dakota-South Dakota border by Forbes, ND. A creek across the border meanders across the plain and serves as a natural boundary of the coteau. This creek has two names in Dakhóta, and if that weren’t enough, it has two designations in English. 

The Battle of Whitestone Hill, as it appeared in Harpers Weekly, October 31, 2863.

A gulch six miles west-southwest of Forbes, ND is known to the Iháŋkthuŋwaŋna as Šúŋka Wakȟáŋ Wičháktepi, or Where Their Horses Were Killed, in reference to the horses that were wounded in the 1863 Whitestone Hill Conflict carried survivors to this point and laid down to rest.

This creek is known by the Middle Dakhóta as Wíŋkta Wakpána (Hermaphrodite Creek) or Dakhóta Núm Wakpá (Two Dakota Creek). The Corps of Discovery called it Stone Idol Creek. The modern population in the vicinity of Pollock call it Spring Creek. This stream originates about nine miles south-southeast of Ashley, ND.

Another stream that bears re-examination is Čhápa Wakpána, or Beaver Creek. It rises at Bdé Čhápa, or Beaver Lake, and flows out of the coteau about 108 miles west to join the Mnišóše by the Beaver Creek Recreation Area by HWY 1804.

In the fall of 1839, Waná’ata, the Charger, led his band of Dakhóta to make their winter camp. It was his last winter. The camp spread out for miles along the creek. The Charger was a veteran of the War of 1812. He was commissioned a captain by British Indian Agent Col. Robert Dickson. The Charger led several hundred Dakhóta people at the battles of Fort Miegs and Fort Stephen in Ohio. He was so influential on the field, his bravery so renowned, that President Martin Van Buren met with the Charger and commissioned his likeness in a portrait. The Charger also met with King George III. Was the Charger an important and influential figure in the history of the American West? A president and a king seemed to think so.

In 1818, at Fort Snelling, the Charger became a devoted proponent of the United States.

The Charger led a command of hundreds of Dakhóta and Lakȟóta warriors in the first ever punitive campaign against a Plains Indian people, the Arikara, in the Arikara War of 1823. 

U.S. General Land Office Map, No. 12, 1878, details Grant's executive order extending the boundaries of Standing Rock Agency into present-day Emmons County.

President Grant extended the boundary of the Standing Rock Agency in his Executive Order, dated March 16, 1875, from west of the Missouri River, east of the agency along Beaver Creek to about where 19th Ave SE, Linton, ND is located, and south into North Campbell, SD. This boundary set aside land for the Iháŋkthuŋwaŋna Dakhóta people. The people who fought on the side of the United States were recognized for their service and dedication by the federal government and the president set aside land for them in perpetuity.

There’s plenty of cultural and occupational history in Emmons County. If only there were some kind of in-depth historical Class III survey that could document these significant events.