Sioux Valley Dakota Nation teaches youth about traditions, ceremonies with pumpkin event 

At the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, youth are learning about traditions and ceremonies while helping to care for the nation’s bison herd. The First Nation recently hosted a celebration where students learned traditional Dakota teachings about Bison while sharing leftover Halloween pumpkins with the animals. The event centres on education and community-building, while finding a use for the pumpkins. Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Chief Vincent Tacan described how the bison demonstrate how standing together makes the herd strong: “They’re very much like a family group.… Family is important. Protecting each other is important in, you know, surviving and facing the adversities,” said Tacan. Shayla Elk, a Grade 10 representative on Sioux Valley’s Junior Chief and Council, said that she first learned about bison from her father and that she is now teaching her peers about bison. “When you’re getting older, you’re raised to be the next leaders. You’re the next parents, you’re the next teachers, you’re the next elders,” said Elk. “You gotta learn this stuff while you’re young.”