Isan tanka

Mr. Smoke talks about his family's experience in the aftermath of the U.S.-Dakota War.

Audio Chapters

DL: Did you ever hear of the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War during your growing up years?

CS: I don’t know what the word was; Grandpa said they ran away when they were small. He said he was around, well those two brothers, John and George were 11 and 9 years old or something like that; they ran away from- they came across a line or something like that.

DL: Grandpa ran away from where?

CS: Well, their parents. They brought them across from the States.

DL: Oh my. So your grandfather, that would be your great-grandfather and your great-grandmother took the little children from where to where?

CS: I really don’t know where, which state it was, but they ran away from soldiers, I guess, so Isan tanka, they call today- that’s the army.

DL: Ran from the Isan tanka.

CS: Yes. Men with long knives or swords, or something. That’s what they call them: Isan tanka.

DL: Did you ever hear of the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War during your growing up years?

CS: I don’t know what the word was; Grandpa said they ran away when they were small. He said he was around, well those two brothers, John and George were 11 and 9 years old or something like that; they ran away from- they came across a line or something like that.

DL: Grandpa ran away from where?

CS: Well, their parents. They brought them across from the States.

DL: Oh my. So your grandfather, that would be your great-grandfather and your great-grandmother took the little children from where to where?

CS: I really don’t know where, which state it was, but they ran away from soldiers, I guess, so isan tanka, they call today- that’s the army.

DL: Ran from the isan tanka.

CS: Yes. Men with long knives or swords, or something. That’s what they call them: isan tanka.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Clayton Maxwell Smoke Interviewer Deborah Locke in Dakota Tipi First Nation Manitoba, Canada | Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. Isan tanka December 16, 2018. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1486

Viewpoints: All viewpoints expressed on this website are those of the contributors, and are not representative of the Minnesota Historical Society.