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Winter was part of the rhythm of life on the prairie for tribes in the 1800s

Three tipis sit camouflaged by trees and snow at the Lakota winter camp held by the Cloud Horse Art Institute on Pine Ridge Reservation. These camps, led by Tilda Long Soldier St. Pierre and her husband, Mark, offered native youth a firsthand understanding of their ancestors’ experience of winter life, including astronomy, biology, cooking, games and storytelling. The camp was most recently held in 2010. Photo by Mark St. Pierre

Winter weather was just as extreme on the prairie before European settlers arrived. Preparing for it was part of the daily existence of the prairie’s original inhabitants. In the 1800s, Native American tribes of the Midwest stayed fairly local year-round, unlike today’s “snowbirds,” who “fly away” to warmer southern climates for the winter months. They followed a strict calendar governed ... Read More »

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