Dakota Language Resources

Prior to the arrival of Samuel and Gideon Pond at Fort Snelling in May 1834, the Dakota language had never been written because it didn’t have an alphabet. Anxious to write down the words they were learning from the Dakota and the soldiers, the Pond brothers created the alphabet for the Dakota Sioux language based upon the English alphabet with a few adjustments.

“We arranged the alphabet in the summer of 1834, and our home, was completed, and the language, thus far, reduced to writing about the same time. The house was to stand but five years, while the alphabet will be used as long as [The Dakota Sioux language] is written.”

Samuel PondTwo Volunteer Missionaries, p. 51

Dakota Translations

The Pond brothers, along with other missionaries to the Dakota, spent 40 years working to translate the Bible into the Dakota language. We have collected references for many of their translations, most of which are available online.

Dakota Language Camp

The Dakota Sioux language has become endangered with few remaining native speakers. At PDHS, we are committed to the revitalization of the Dakota language. By providing scholarships for camp participants, we support the annual Dakota Language Camp sponsored by Bloomington Parks and Recreation. Learn more.

Dakota Resources

Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota educates students in Native American and Indigenous Studies and offers resources related to Native American culture.