Thokáta Wičhóičhağe Šakówiŋ Awíčhahdukčaŋ Pi
Our Babies: Think of the Next Seven Generations
The concept that the current generation of humans live and work for the benefit of the seventh generation is a common teaching in many Native American tribal philosophies. To the Oceti Sakowin, children are our most valuable assets and it is important to raise them with a loving heart. In return, the children will bring new hope to the people. A few of the Dakota values written in the background include: observation, knowledge, wisdom, benevolence, truth, love, relatives, honesty, bravery, joy, generosity, and peace. To learn the Dakota values in our language, please visit the Beginning Dakota page.
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Thípsiŋna (Dakota)/thíŋpsila (Lakota) plant
The young girl is holding a thípsiŋna (Dakota)/thíŋpsila (Lakota) plant, one of the most important wild foods gathered by the Oceti Sakowin. An excellent source of complex carbohydrates, the prairie turnips do not raise blood sugars like potatoes. Eaten fresh or dried for later, the roots will last indefinitely and are braided together for storage.
“In 1805 a Lewis and Clark expedition observed Plains Indians collecting, peeling, and frying prairie turnips. The Lakota women told their children, who helped gather wild foods, that prairie turnips point to each other. When the children noted which way the branches were pointing, they were sent in that direction to find the next plant. This saved the mothers from searching for plants, kept the children happily busy, and made a game of their work. Prairie turnips were so important, they influenced selection of hunting grounds. Women were the gatherers of prairie turnips and their work was considered of great importance to the tribe.”