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ERIC Number: EJ1177922
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1052-5505
The Best Kind of Wisdom: Elders as Instructors and Models for the Next Generation
Peacock, John
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, v29 n4 Sum 2018
When Vernon Lambert and Lorraine Greybear graduated from the Fort Totten, North Dakota, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) community school in 1957 and 1959, respectively, Dakota language and culture were not even taught. Lambert's mother had stopped speaking Dakota to him at home so he wouldn't have to learn English the hard way at school as she had. Like many of his generation, he grew up understanding but not speaking the language. Dakota language and culture were just beginning to be taught in tribal schools by the time his own children started going, but there was a dearth of teachers Lambert's age to teach these subjects, so Lambert's mother began a 25-year career teaching the language to her grandchildren and subsequent generations. Eventually Lorraine Greybear would succeed her as the principal Dakota language instructor on the Spirit Lake reservation. In 2016 Lambert and Greybear became the first elders the Spirit Lake tribal council certified to be master's and Ph.D.-level instructors at Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC), the tribal college of the 7,000-member, 400-square mile Spirit Lake Nation. The two elders embody the cardinal Dakota values of humility, perseverance, generosity, faith, honesty, courage, and respect. Through their example, Lambert and Greybear hope to inspire other elders to teach and study there to help model traditional Dakota values for the younger generation.
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education. P.O. Box 720, Mancos, CO 81328. Tel: 888-899-6693; Fax: 970-533-9145; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A