Hartand Goodtrack remembers his grandma telling him how they fled the U.S. to the Canadian border with other families after the Battle of the Minimal Large Horn, led by the fantastic Lakota chief Sitting Bull.
Although Sitting down Bull himself returned to the United States in 1881, 37 family members remained in Canada and established Wooden Mountain. Now it is the only Lakota community in the place.
Goodtrack was born in 1938 at his grandparents’ small home in the community.
His Lakota identify is Eya Ta-Gi-La, which means to be stingy of your language.
Goodtrack’s grandmother made the decision they were being going to increase him to learn the Lakota approaches. Lakota was his 1st language, and he failed to discover a term of English until eventually he was 6 several years aged.
Right after his grandmother passed away when he was 5, he was elevated exclusively by his grandfather, who took him alongside to meet farmers to market fence pickets.
Goodtrack mentioned the RCMP desired to deliver him to household college, but his grandfather stood his ground and refused, so Goodtrack was equipped to keep his language, contrary to other people his age. Now he is 1 of its previous remaining fluent speakers in Canada.
Goodtrack worked in grain elevators when he grew up. Along the way he achieved his spouse Evelyn, a Dakota female from Standing Buffalo Dakota Country. Soon after 54 several years of relationship, and elevating a few biological and a person adopted daughters — together with a son who sadly died when he was youthful — they are now retired on Standing Buffalo Dakota Country.
Goodtrack was in a position to retain the Lakota language for all these a long time, even immediately after residing in the modernized earth, but he needs he would have passed it on to his children.
“My most significant regret is I didn’t teach my women Lakota,” said Goodtrack.
The Lakota language is regarded as critically endangered in Canada, that means it is at possibility of falling out of use since it has handful of surviving speakers.
Goodtrack was 17 when his grandfather died. Right after that there was only just one person remaining he would communicate to in Lakota, Jim Wounded Horse, but he died when Goodtrack was 28 several years previous. Goodtrack reported he rarely spoke Lakota for some time right after that.
Now, he has been striving to converse it as a lot as he can.
Observe| Hartland Goodtrack has hopes his daughters and grandchildren will have on the Lakota language:
Luckily for Goodtrack, Lakota is mutually intelligible with the two dialects of the Dakota language and with Nakota, as all are languages of the Sioux spouse and children. So when he runs into a Dakota or Nakota speaker, they can recognize every single other.
For instance, the phrase “buddy” is “kola” in Lakota, “koda” in Dakota, and “kona” in Nakota.
Also, each language differs a little bit dependent on no matter if a ladies or person is conversing, but only a fluent speaker would know the distinction.
Goodtrack said he fears his language not staying revived in Canada. He fondly remembers a time long ago when you would go any spot on the reserve and anyone would be talking Lakota.
“I detest to not go away it at the rear of when I am gone. Some of my grandchildren need to find out it,” explained Goodtrack.
Just one detail Goodtrack and his spouse and children have completed to aid sustain the language is do the job with the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council on an application that teaches Lakota phrases and phrases. They assisted with the basic principles of the language, like introductions, phrases, numbers and colors.
Goodtrack claimed it was fun for them to listen to by themselves discuss on the app.
Just one of his daughters, Roberta Soo-Oyewaste, is getting on the net Dakota courses with the University of Minnesota. She explained she is very pleased to be discovering a language and hopes to master plenty of to chat with her father, even however it is marginally diverse from the Lakota he speaks.
She claimed studying language gives her power and requires her back a few or 4 generations, to the Struggle of Small Huge Horn.
Soo-Oyewaste wishes her small children to know the great importance of her grandfather’s history, and that they appear from a warrior lineage.
She encourages her small children to ask their grandfather to speak Lakota, both of those so he can keep his language and they can master from him.
“You want to give them exposure and for him to share his expertise about the language,” said Soo-Oyewaste. “Each language has a spirit and that’s the to start with issue we discover, right? It truly is the spirit of the language and the sacredness of the language, and we have to embrace that.”