Ella Cara Deloria: Dakota Language Protector

Ella Cara Deloria: Dakota Language Protector

Written by Diane Wilson
Illustrated by Tashia Hart

Ella Cara Deloria loved to listen to her family tell stories in the Dakota language. She recorded many American Indian peoples’ stories and languages and shared them with everyone. She helped protect her people’s language for future generations. She also wrote stories of her own.

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About the Author

Diane Wilson is a Dakota writer who uses personal experience to illustrate broader social and historical context. Her new novel, The Seed Keeper, will be published by Milkweed Editions in Spring, 2021. Her memoir, Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past, won a 2006 Minnesota Book Award and was selected for the 2012 One Minneapolis One Read program. Her nonfiction book, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life, was awarded the 2012 Barbara Sudler Award from History Colorado. Her work has been featured in many publications, including the anthology A Good Time for the Truth. She has served as a Mentor for the Loft Emerging Artist program as well as Intermedia’s Beyond the Pale. Awards include the Minnesota State Arts Board, a 2013 Bush Foundation Fellowship, a 2018 AARP/Pollen 50 Over 50 Leadership Award, and the Jerome Foundation. She is a descendent of the Mdewakanton Oyate and enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation. Wilson currently serves as the Executive Director for the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance.

About the Illustrator

Tashia Hart grew up in the wilds of Minnesota. She loves animals, writing, drawing, plants, and cooking. She is the author of Gidjie and the Wolves (Intermediaries, volume 1) and Girl Unreserved (Broken Wings and Things, volume 1). Her forthcoming wild rice cookbook, in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society Press, is set to be released in the fall of 2021. She writes essays and recipes about wild foods for various organizations and tribal programs, and is an avid beader with thirty years of experience. She believes Indigenous people should control how their stories and likenesses are portrayed, and so has recently started the independent publishing company (Not) Too Far Removed Press. The mission of the press is to uplift fellow Indigenous authors and artists of the Midwest region. Tashia is Red Lake Anishinaabe. www.tashiahart.com