Unci Maka, the Dakota expression for Earth, translates as "Grandmother Earth." This indicates a kinship relationship between the Dakota and the Earth; so as a relative, the Dakota people are dedicated to protecting and preserving Earth's environment.
The Dakota way is to plan for the Seventh Generation, to make sure that resources will be available in the future to sustain life for seven generations to come. Conserving and protecting the Earth today ensures that there will be food, trees, natural areas, traditional wild foods and medicines, cultural resources, and open spaces in the environment for coming generations to not only survive but also to thrive. A staff of biologists, water resource specialists, technicians, managers, and others in the Land and Natural Resources, Public Works, and Cultural Resources Departments fulfill that mission.