Bucephala islandica (Gmelin)
Barrow’s Goldeneye is one of the rarer diving ducks (or “sea-ducks”) that Great Plains Native Americans likely saw only in the winter or during migration. Another was the Oldsquaw—yes, that was its (insultingly racist, sexist, and ageist) official ornithological name until the 1990s, when its name was changed to the Long-tailed Duck. But old ways of thinking die hard: as one recent blog quips, “What a marvelously insensitive, splendidly politically incorrect name for a duck” (Chicago Ornithological Society, “Dan's Feathursday Feature: Oldsquaw?”).
Sorghastrum nutans (Linnaeus)
Pȟeží šašá íŋkpa žiží (Lakȟóta)
The Lakota name translates as “red grass with a blonde-haired tip.” According to Linda Black Elk, “Boys use the stems as arrows in mock war games.” Like Buffalograss, “[t]his grass provides excellent forage for bison and other grazing animals” (“Culturally Important Plants of the Lakota”).