Chanku Luta (Red Road)

Hau Mitakuyapi
Take a minute, read, review, comment, we of the Dakota Nation may be forgotten in time, but for now we will never be ignored...I will see you on the Red Road of Life...Wopida Tanka
Hokshida Maza (Iron Boy) Bdewakantowan Dakota Akichita

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Shifting the Indigenous Landscape

The Mdewakanton Dakota Oyate in the 21st Century 
(Inevitable Awakenings)

Part 1. Family History

One summer morning, over coffee and toast in a two story white house in west end of St. Paul I had a quick conversation with my father, Clarence Leith.  Bee, or Bishop, as he was known to the family just happened to be in a talkative mood and he wanted to share Leith family information with his oldest son, me.

He said we have land in Shakopee that has been in our family since the late 1800's.  Our family, the Leith's are direct lineal descendants of Taoyateduta, or Little Crow, was Hereditary Chief of the Mdewakanton Dakota.  He was actually only one Little Crow in a line of Little Crows, all of whom served as Chiefs of the Mdewakanton.

Little Crow is probably better known as the Sioux Chief that led the warriors in battle during the Dakota War or Dakota Conflict of 1862 in Minnesota, sometimes known as the Minnesota Sioux Uprising.

"Never be ashamed of being a Leith, and remember if you ever in a fight, and you run, you're not a Leith."

My father came from the family of James and Agnes (Dow) Leith.  He had seven brothers and two sisters.

The last of his brother's James, passed away this past March, 2010.

My parents met in Grand Forks, North Dakota while working in the potato fields as field hands. He didn't finish High School until we were living in that little white house and he was in his late forties.  He got his GED in order to become a male nurse at the Little Sister's of the Poor.

I am the oldest of five boys born to Clarence and Clara (Green) Leith.  I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota.

My father was an enrolled member of the Lower Sioux Indian Community, Morton, Minnesota, and my mother was an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Red Lake, Minnesota.

When my brothers and I were born, my mother enrolled us in the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Red Lake, Minnesota.  This is pertinent to my history because it helped to determine who we would become as adults.  I have four brother's, all of whom are enrolled in Red Lake, the Red Lake Nation.

Both of my parent's were married before.  This fact would come into play later on as I turned into an adult and learned more about tribal enrollment and what that means in Indian Country.

I have quite an illustrious family background, but then so does every other American Indian you meet.

When I left Red Lake High School in December 1970 I went to Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

The Dakota Nation and their National History, (a brief synopsis).

The Bde/Mdewakantowan Dakota Oyate are a part of a larger Dakota Nation, known in as the Oceti Sakowin, or Seven Council Fires of the Dakota Nation or the Dak'ota Oyate.


1 comment:

Dakota Perspective said...

This post is in the development stages, thank you for your patience, Ron