Everything that God created is a relative of ours

Mr. LaBatte talks about Dakota cultural practices.

Audio Chapters

DL: What contributions have the Dakota made to Minnesota and the Country?

WL: Oh my God, well look at all the place names. How many Dakota names [do] you know…they’re badly translated.

DL: So the language for sure, a language contribution.

WL: Yes, a language contribution. We have a food called, pasdaypi. I don’t know if I’d call it famous but it’s really good. It’s an Indian corn soup. It’s so hard to make. Traditional foods aren’t like opening up a can and in five minutes later you’re eating. It’s an all-day process or it’s kind of an afternoon process.

DL: What’s in it?

WL: It’s called pasdaypi, P-A-S-D-A-Y-P-I.

DL: And it’s got corn and maybe dried meat?

WL: Well it’s Indian corn and then it’s got meat and vegetables in it. What other contributions have we made? I kind of think Dakota people, Indians in general; they have a certain philosophy… In the Dakota way anyway, we have what’s called "mdakway oyasin," which means all our relatives. It means that everything that God created is a relative of ours. That includes the animals. So that when animals are killed for food, there’s a little offering brought, either tobacco or… To me it doesn’t make any difference what. Some people say, well I do this or I do that. That’s good just as long as you’re acknowledging that that deer is a relative of us, that Wakan Tanka created as well as he created me. So then you come to understand that wanton killing like what happened with the buffalo… I read of accounts where Indians would come across this whole slaughter of buffalo and they would sit and cry because their relative was wantonly slaughtered. I think that the conservation movement maybe has an influence on today’s society. Some do but there might be some people that still don’t respect mother earth.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Walter LaBatte Interviewer Deborah Locke made in Granite Falls, Upper Sioux Community, MN | Thursday, April 28, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. Everything that God created is a relative of ours November 20, 2019. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1080

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