She knew all the different roots

Ms. James remembers what she learned from her grandparents as she grew up.

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Well both, my grandpas, they all had Wakan Tanka, or God. They teach us how to respect and all that all that stuff. They used to have ceremonies you know and healing and all that. We went through that when we were little at worship. We used to get grandpa to come and heal us. My grandma used to give us stuff that medicine from roots or something to clear our sickness in the winter time.

DL: Did they work?

MJ: Yeah, um hum. She knew a lot of stuff like that. She was kind of blind in one eye and she used to be… Stuff like that. She knew all the different roots of medicine. We used to go with her and save all these… Dried them and all that. They had a cellar and they cut the roots and willows and piled them up down there and they used to make mats and all that stuff in the winter time. Half of the cellar was vegetables and potatoes and stuff like that.

DL: Alright. Did you learn enough from your grandmother to be able to replicate it when you got older? Could you go into the woods by yourself and pick the right things?

MJ: No.

DL: You didn’t learn it that closely.

MJ: No, but different things that… I remember one time my uncle was cutting wood and he cut his toe off. My grandmother put something on it and wrapped it all up and not supposed to take it out for two weeks and it healed. Just like there’s no stitches or nothing. It healed up itself.

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

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. She knew all the different roots August 20, 2019. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1497

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