Day 3: Experiencing Lakota Heritage First Hand

posted July 21, 2014

On the third day of the Maȟpíya Lúta Owáyawa Lakȟól’iya Wičhóthi (Red Cloud Indian School Lakota Language Camp), students boarded a bus for a journey to Makȟá Oȟlóka, perhaps more commonly known as Wind Cave National Park.

Alumna and Park Ranger Sina Bear Eagle ‘03 met with the group to discuss the history of Wind Cave and the Lakota creation story. Makȟá Oȟlóka is believed to be the origin of life, where the Pté Oyáte, or Buffalo People, emerged from a hole in the ground in the sacred Black Hills and populated the Earth.

“This trip introduced me to the creation story. I didn’t know the full story [before],” said Payton ‘18, “It was fun and definitely taught me more about my culture.” 

“It’s important for them to actually see the place to understand the significance of it in depth, rather than just hearing the story,” said Philomine, a Red Cloud High School Lakota language teacher. “Children may or may not have grown up with these traditional stories of Lakota people, so [we] wanted to be certain that they had the chance to hear the story of where we come from.”

True to the heritage of the Lakota language—which existed solely as an oral tradition for centuries—students met around the campfire that night to retell the story using the Lakota terms they had learned. As students tucked themselves in inside their tipis, they continued to whisper to each other recalling the knowledge they had gained from the last three days until they fell asl


Return to the Main Story and Continue Reading!


Photos and Content ©Red Cloud Indian School, 2014