Dakota is a way of life, a manner in which you walk through this world

Mr. Ross talks about what it means to be Dakota.

Audio Chapters

DL: What would you wish for Dakota people today?

DR: I wish they would be Dakota.

DL: They’re not? Who are they?

DR: Nobody.

DL: How do they become Dakota again?

DR: I’ve told you. Dakota is not a nation of people. Dakota is a way of life, a manner in which you walk through this world. Dakotas call the white people wasichu. It doesn’t mean white man. It means something different. Dakota’s call the black people wasichu sapa. It doesn’t mean white man or black man. Now today, we have wasichu sa [black man]. It doesn’t mean white man, it doesn’t mean red man, it doesn’t mean anything. But it doesn’t mean Dakota, either. What is missing is all those things we talked about. To walk the life of a Dakota, you don’t have to be born this color to be Dakota although that is the popular desire and belief today. There were white people that became Dakota at points in history and they lived their life as Dakota and therefore they were Dakota.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Dallas Ross Interviewer Deborah Locke made at Granite Falls, Upper Sioux Community, MN | Sunday, May 1, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. Dakota is a way of life, a manner in which you walk through this world May 26, 2019. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1106

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