Turtle Island Storyteller Rodney Howling Wolf

Rodney Howling Wolf

Rodney Howling Wolf

My name is Rodney Howling Wolf. I’m 64 years old. I’m from White Shield, North Dakota. I’m an Arikara. My mother was Mabel Bear Howling Wolf. My father was Dan Howling Wolf. My mother’s father was the Arikara chief. His name was Floyd Sitting Bear Floyd’s father was Sitting Bear and Sitting Bear’s father was Son of the Star. That’s the line that I’m from on my mother’s side.

On my father’s side my grandfather was Lawrence Howling Wolf. My grandmother was Stella Rogers Howling Wolf and that’s all I know about on that side. My Grandfather Lawrence was a minister. One of the first ministers out of Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

I grew up in Nishu first, and him and I, Virgil and I, we lived down in Nishu before this dam came. When we were young kids, we used to these medicine doings. They call them Kinau. They call it Hurau Supa (L). I remember I went over couple times with my grandmother. I was pretty young.

(02:27) When we walked over there, I remember them. They used to sing songs all night, and sing them medicine songs and they used to smudge people. Everything was in the Arikara language. I was pretty young then. When we got there then I usually, my grandmother made a place for me to sleep, so when I did, then I couldn’t really tell you what went on. It got interesting at the time.

The first veteran in my family was Howling Wolf on the Howling Wolf side. He was a scout for Custer. He was at that Little Big Horn.
In the book that they wrote about him, they said that they didn’t want him to go because his horse was poor. He didn’t have a good horse, but he went anyway. He was one of the carriers for the expedition. He went on that expedition to the Black Hills.


Rodney Howling Wolf

Rodney Howling Wolf is an Arikara elder from White Shield, North Dakota, on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. His mother was Mabel Bear Howling Wolf, and her father, Floyd Sitting Bear, was an Arikara chief. Floyd’s father was Sitting Bear and Sitting Bear’s father was Son of the Star. Rodney’s father was Dan Howling Wolf. His grandfather, Lawrence Howling Wolf, was one of the first ministers out of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The first veteran from the Howling Wolf side was a scout for Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The tribe lived from Nebraska to South Dakota and also occupied the Black Hills. At one time, they lived along the Missouri River. Due to the building of the Garrison Dam, they had to move to higher ground.

Rodney is very involved in the history and songs of the Arikara tribe. His storytelling includes the tribes’ culture and history, as well as veterans and veterans’ songs. The Arikara have an outstanding military record and they also had one of the first military posts. He shares stories of his family and his siblings, which all of whom served in the military. He tells how, every spring, they hold a ceremony for their sacred bundles, or when a tribal member dies, they also hold a ceremony. The Arikara also have the social dance (round dance), grass dance, tail feather dance, and other regular dances.

Rodney Howling Wolf
PO Box 245
New Town, ND 58763
(701) 627-3457