Lakotapteole: Wood Mountain Lakota Cultural Adaptation and Maintenance Through Ranching and Rodeo, 1880-1930
After Chief Sitting Bull returned to the U.S. in 1881 from Canada, about 250 Lakota people remained in present-day Saskatchewan. Through archival research and oral interviews, this study interprets the way these Lakota people at Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan engaged in ranching and rodeo (some farming will be discussed as well although this was practiced on a smaller scale) in order to see what this reveals about indigenous constructions of collective identity in the difficult years of colonial displacement between 1880 and 1930. The stereotypical and persistent dichotomy of “cowboys versus Indians” will be challenged as it does damage to Aboriginal peoples’ abilities to adapt and their involvement in agriculture. Ranching and rodeo not only gave the Lakota people at Wood Mountain a viable economic lifestyle but a lifestyle that was culturally and socially fulfilling. And furthermore, from this came the motivation and ability to build a Lakota community and identity that was at once distinct yet interactive with the non-Aboriginal ranching society/lifestyle in the Wood Mountain area. This study argues that the Lakota of Wood Mountain blended traditional Lakota culture with cowboy lifestyles that allowed for the adaptation to and interaction with non-Aboriginal society, the retention of traditional Lakota cultural aspects, and the reshaping of identities and communities around this blending process.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
SupervisorMiller, James R.
CommitteeKorinek, Valerie; Waiser, Bill; Wheeler, Winona
Copyright DateSeptember 2014