Loading Events & Programs

« All Events & Programs

  • This event has passed.

History Revealed: Dakhóta Iápi

March 21 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

History Revealed Special Program
Dakhóta Iápi (Dakota Language): Its History and Future
with Šišókaduta (Joe Bendickson), Dr. Rev. Clifford Canku Sr. and Heather Menefee

Moderated by Meredith Cummings, RCHS editor
Thursday, March 21, 2024, 7:00 pm

In partnership with the East Side Freedom Library & Roseville Library.

Live presentation on Zoom- Register Here
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. For questions, please email events@rchs.com
Free and open to all.

In 2023, Dakhóta language scholars from the University of Minnesota, with their instructor Šišókaduta (Joe Bendickson), worked with Ramsey County Historical Society to write a brief history of Dakhóta iápi (language) in three parts. The piece begins with an early history of the language following settler coloni­zation and extending through the boarding school era. It continues with a collaborative segment highlighting current language initia­tives and the positive effects these have for both the Dakhóta and non-Indigenous communities in establishing themselves in Minnesota history. The article culminates with words of encourage­ment to Dakhóta language teachers and second-language learners from Dr. Rev. Clifford Canku Sr., one of the few remaining first-language Dakhóta speakers and a holder of traditional knowledge.

Šišókaduta, and graduate student Heather Menefee will participate in a panel discussion about the history of the language and current language revitalization efforts.

Image: From Ramsey County History magazine.

Dr. Rev. Clifford Canku, Sr. is the author and editor, along with Michael Simon, of The Dakota Prisoner of War Letters: Dakota Kaskapi Okicize Wowapi (2012). With Nicolette Knudson and Jody Snow, he is also a creator of Tokaheya Dakota Iapi Kin/Beginning Dakota (2010). Canku earned a BA from the University of Minnesota at Morris, and a master of divinity from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Iowa. He has retired after many years as a professor of Dakhóta studies at North Dakota State University and as a Presbyterian minister. He continues to serve as a teacher, elder, and minister of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakhóta Oyáte from his home at Kaksíza Háŋska.

Šišókaduta (Joe Bendickson) is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakhóta Oyáte of Lake Traverse Reservation. He worked as a Dakhóta language instructor at the University of Minnesota for many years until recently, when he began a full-time position as linguistic director and editor at Dakhóta Iápi Okhódakičhiye (DIO), a 501c3 nonprofit organization of dedicated Dakhóta community members, language learners, and speakers. DIO recently released Dakhód Iápi Wičhóie Wówapi, the first Dakhóta language dictionary app with 28,699 audio recordings.

Heather Menefee is a student of Šišókaduta, a staff member at Dakhóta Iápi Okhódakičhiye, and a PhD candidate in history at Northwestern University. She has also worked as the teaching assistant for the Dakota Language Program at UMN, where she continues to study the language and support other learners.





March 21, 2024
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Categories:
, ,
Event Tags: