-- For his winter count picture, Nickolas Jonsgaard drew a teepee,
fire, horse and sun, indicating what he learned from Leonard Wabasha
about American Indians.
said he found out "about the stuff they made like coats and
pictures out of fur," he said. Most of what he knew before
was from western movies he watched with his father. He was surprised
at how well Indians could live without metals and machines of today.
her picture, Crystal Edmunds drew a butterfly, a tree and other
things she saw when walking around Whitewater State Park. She learned
Indians used all parts of an animal they killed.
what Wabasha wanted them to do -- have students record in pictures
something about their day at the park and to learn about his heritage.
His ancestors would record on bison hides pictures telling what
happened to them in the past year. That was called the winter count.
from Prior Lake, and his cultural resources director with the Shakopee
Mdewakanton Sioux Community, spoke at the park Friday. He is the
seventh in a line of hereditary chiefs, all named Wabasha, named
for the chief who gave the name to the town of Wabasha.
said he intentionally showed students from the Bluffview Learning
Community in Winona how his ancestors had things, much like the
people of today.
used to strengthen wood bows, is much like today's fiberglass, he
said. Passing buckskin over smoke from burning green wood made it
breathable and waterproof, like today's Gore-Tex, he said.
are the same," he said. "If they look into their history,
they would find that somewhere in their lineage, they were like
thought Indians were technologically backward because they didn't
have wheels, he said. But their entire life was based on the circle
of life, he said. "They lived in harmony with nature,"
he said. "It was a way of life."