Pšíŋ Hinápȟe: Onions Emerging, over 5 days

Pšiŋ. Onions. There is an indigenous wild onion, pšiŋ šičámna, but this post is about domestic onions. These are a special North-Dakota-adapted variety bred by Dr. Frank Kutka at NDSU extension in Dickinson. He gave me the seeds at a seed exchange at the Indigenous Farming Conference hosted by the White Earth Land Recovery ProjectContinue reading “Pšíŋ Hinápȟe: Onions Emerging, over 5 days”

Wažúšteča – Wild Strawberry Leaves in April

On an early spring walk along the Moreau River, when the ice was still melting away and the first leaves of our local plants were just beginning to show themselves, I saw this wild strawberry plant. It was very close to the ground, disguised so it would be easy to miss. Not even a hintContinue reading “Wažúšteča – Wild Strawberry Leaves in April”

Čhaŋíčaȟpehu / Stinging Nettles

Stinging nettles. Čhaŋíčaȟpehu. Urtica dioica. Many of us have only unpleasant associations with this plant: the sting. It is seen as a plant to be avoided, and carefully uprooted where possible. Here on Standing Rock, though, a growing number of people are intentionally inflicting themselves with nettle stings. This may sound surprising when you firstContinue reading “Čhaŋíčaȟpehu / Stinging Nettles”

Maštíŋčathawote su

Lettuce. It’s native to Egypt and has long been cultivated in Eurasia. It’s a relatively recent arrival over here. It’s called “maštíŋčathawote” in Lakota. Literally, rabbit food. I got a few baby lettuce plants at the Free Farm Stand in San Francisco a few years ago. I have been growing their descendants ever since. Sú.Continue reading “Maštíŋčathawote su”


This plant goes by many names: čhaŋšáša among the Lakota people where I live, kinnikinnick among the Anishinaabe to the east, Cornus stolonifera in Botanical Latin, and Red Osier Dogwood, Red Willow, and Kinnikinnick Willow in English. The outer bark is an unmistakable, deep red color. The Lakota name refers to its color, šá (red).Continue reading “Čhaŋšáša.”