There was something more to it

Mr. Smoke talks about learning Dakota history as he grew up.

Audio Chapters

LS: Dakota history was a little different from the Saulteauxs. That’s what they told me. And we kind of practiced here and there about it, but it seemed like there was more to it when I was growing up. My Dakota culture and all that, I looked at it when I was growing up, since I was small.

DL: Dakota culture?

LS: Dakota culture; Dakota ways. I was growing into it and then it seemed like there was more to it and that’s just how I grew up. I knew there was something more to it than just my ways of being a Dakota and the people out here- they called them Indian people. I knew there was more to that, but how to reach it, to get to it was another thing. As a young boy when I was growing up, and then after a while, it didn’t take me very long, Dad told me I have to work, but first I went to a residential school in Brandon, which has no record of me being there now- right now. I wrote to them and they told me and I went and talked to a lawyer, but the lawyer said there was no mention of me being there, no records of me being there. But that’s when I ran away from there and I came home. That’s when I never went back again. Dad said, “You’ll never go back again.”

DL: That took some courage as a little kid, to just decide: I’m not going….

LS: Yah, my brother and I came home from up there.

DL: You walked home?

LS: Part ways, and then a man gave us a ride from Winnipeg, and then we got off here in Portage, and then we walked from there to where my dad worked, Mom and Dad.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Leslie Smoke Interviewer Deborah Locke in Dakota Tipi First Nation Manitoba, Canada | Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. There was something more to it May 21, 2019. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1493

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