Read and listen to The Cooking Spirit story
Biography: Medicine Lodge Woman
Fort Quappelle, Saskatchewan, just off Canadas Highway 1, is the home of the Standing Buffalo Reserve, named in honor of Chief Standing Buffalo, a Dakota leader. In the late 1800s, Standing Buffalos people were blessed with a significant guest, Sitting Bull. He came to Fort Quappelle with a few hundred Hunkpapa Lakota in an attempt to find safety and sanctuary in Canada. Standing Buffalos Dakota and Sitting Bulls Lakota people blended together; some intermarried and began families.
Rosella Goodwill Archdale was born on the Standing Buffalo Reserve, the ninth of 13 children. Her parents were Alexander Goodwill, known as Tawasti Wasti (Good Mind), a descendant of Standing Buffalos people, and Stella Le Caine, a descendant of Sitting Bulls Hunkpapa Lakota. Rosella is known as Tibi Tauch Wi, which is Assiniboine for Medicine Lodge Woman.
Growing up, Rosella was surrounded by teachersher parents, grandparents and extended familyand she learned the traditional craftworks of hide tanning, beading, making war bonnets and food preparation. At the same time, she went to public school, and after graduating from the Reserves day school, Rosella continued on to the University of Regina, where she graduated with a B. A. degree in Indian Social Work.
My father said to learn the culture and keep it alive. Always be proud to be an Indian. Its okay to learn the white ways and the English language, but keep the Indian ways, too.
In 1989, Rosella moved to the Ft. Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana in order to provide a good education for her son Clinton. She has continued to teach traditional crafts, tribal culture and how to follow the Red Road (a Lakota designed alcoholism and drug-abuse recovery program) to her son and other children, and has taught art and beading classes at the Fort Peck Community College. She always saves a chair at her beading table for anyone who happens to stop by. Life moves so fast and our children are so influenced. We have to support them. The secret is to do things with them. Our culture will survive if we believe in it, and continue to teach and practice it.
Tribe: The Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota (Oceti Sakowin)
The Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nations are all a part of the Oceti Sakowin, or Seven Council Fires, and these Nations have always called the northern Great Plains their homelands. Europeans called these bands the Sioux. Prior to European contact, the three tribes inhabited different regions of the northern Great Plains. The Dakota lived in the east in the area of Minnesota, the Nakota lived in the middle section of the three nations where Iowa and North and South Dakota are today, and the Lakota lived in present-day western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming and Montana. According to tribal history, the Oceti Sakowin came from the Black Hills, literally emerging from the Earth at a place called Wind Cave. The Oceti Sakowin consider the entire Black Hills region sacred and call it Paha Sapa, the heart of everything that is.
This creation story reveals the traditional Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nations strong kinship and inherent sense of shared origins with their lands. When a child is born, they are not only born to parents and a family, but they are born into a relationship with the land, and ones duties to kin are equal to ones duties to the natural world. This bond with nature and responsibility for all living things can be found in the saying mitakuye oyasin, we are all related.
The Oceti Sakowin believe in The Great Spirit, the awesome power which moves through the universe. In order to reach The Great Spirit directly, an herb called sweet grass is used. Known as peji wacánga, one story relates that this special herb came to Native people through the dream of a little girl. The girls tribe was in a hard time, suffering from great famine and sickness. Because she loved her people so much, she went into a meadow and prayed to The Great Spirit to help her and her people. Then she slept, and in her dream, The Great Spirit told her a gift would come to her, and she would know it. And when she woke in the morning the fields where she had laid were filled with the beautiful sweet fragrance of a glistening grass. The girl and her people gathered and burned the grass, and prayed, and their prayers were directed to the spirit world. Soon the sick got well, the tribe found game, and were able to sustain themselves once more. Sweet grass is used in a purification ritual known as the smudging ceremony.
Today, the Lakota still assert their right to the Black Hills, which in 1876 were unlawfully seized by the government in violation of the Treaty of 1868. Over a hundred years later, in 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court decreed that a more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealing [by the U.S. Government] will never, in all probability, be found in our history, and awarded the Oceti Sakowin tribes $105 million as settlement for their Black Hills claim. The tribes rejected this offer, stating that the Black Hills are sacred and not for sale.
(Sweet Grass Story from Rosella Goodwill Archdale)
My name is Rosella Goodwill Archdale. The name Goodwill comes from my fathers lineage and it is pronounced in the Dakota way, we say Tawaci Waste. My mother and father come from two different Dakota, Lakota campfires. My fathers people migrated from Minnesota with the traditional chief, Standing Buffalo, and they migrated to Canada during the Minnesota Uprising. And my mothers lineage comes from Sitting Bull. I am full-blood Lakota from my mothers lineage, and full-blood Dakota from my fathers lineage.
The Cooking Spirit
Good morning, this is Sunday morning. And my son and I are preparing a traditional meal to honor our friends.
Its all the food weve harvested from all last year, the summer; the spring, summer.
Mint is usually the first thing I gather, and its a real lot higher. We leave the roots in the ground so that it will multiply. If you have a very sore throat and youre walking through country, you chew the purple flowers. Then your sore throat will be gone in a few minutes and it miraculously opens your sinuses!
So to smell this as were preparing tea is a good thing because it brings back a flood of memories of how many times weve made tea for how many occasions.
Wild onions are the second thing we gather. Because this is in May, onions are in June. And then come the turnips, the timsulayou see that hanging on a wall, this is a lot of food.
This is the dry meat. Its broken down. But usually my son and I slice it very thin. Its our therapy work and we take our time and we talk. We dry all these pieces.
Everything is sun-dried. Theres no quick drying method. Thats the thing were trying to go back to. Bring all this cooking back. Grow squash, grow pumpkins. These are the things I used to eat as a kid and I really believe that we have to go back to that. No modern chemicals, this is good eating.
June is when we gather all the June berries, the service berries. I crushed cherries since I could remember. All my children, my son, all my foster kids, my nieces, nephews, everybody crushes berries. So we keep the tradition alive, and the spirits of the stone and the things my mother taught us and we remember the stories. So by the time we will eat, you feel the spirits of everyone back with us.
So now well go back to the pots!
This corn was soaked and you have a little hominy. Washdapi, the Dakota call it. Im not sure how to say it in any other language. Thats the soup we grew up with, corn soup. Washdapicornand you can see the pieces of meat and white hominy. This has been boiling for 4 hours.
As Indians, we have our values and customs and traditions and one of them is you cant taste the food. We cant taste the food because we didnt offer it to the spirits yet. The spirits eat first, then we eat. We on earth eat last.
Guwa bi mnuna, it means bread, ground bread, or the art of grinding wheat for the bread.
I was very, very fortunate to have my mother, my grandmothers, all my relatives who taught us the skills of gardening, cooking, preserving, everything, so our families never went hungry. We had an overabundance to share with everyone.
I feel the cooking spirit today, which is good. So when we eat, and say our prayer, it will all be a good thing.
These are the buffalo berries that have been dried, and soaked overnight. As a traditional cook, your hands are as valuable as your utensils and stuff because you always use your hands.
All this is done by the slight of hand, the slight of time! When youre cooking, you really have to stand here. You cant leave. This is your job that you picked for the day and you ask the Great Spirit, Creator, to stand with you and help you stand here and cook, it will work out.
This is ready!
Our honorary dinner. Voila! Now thats a good thing. Now thats what I call a good thing. Hot piping bread, soup, bread and soup, and all the berries and oven bread and lots of tea to wash it down with.
Get ready to eat!
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