Lakota Nation
Chief Sitting Bull, Tatanka-Iyotanka,

Photo: Courtesy of the Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian

Chief Sitting Bull was assassinated on December 14, 1890.

A Hunkpapa Lakota chief and holy man under whom the Lakota tribes united in their struggle for survival on the northern plains, Sitting Bull remained defiant toward American military power and contemptuous of American promises to the end.

He was born around 1831 on the Grand River in present-day South Dakota, at a place the Lakota called "Many Caches" for the number of food storage pits they had dug there, Sitting Bull was given the name Tatanka-Iyotanka, which describes a buffalo bull sitting intractably on its haunches. It was a name he would live up to throughout his life.

As a young man, Sitting Bull became a leader of the Strong Heart warrior society and, later, a distinguished member of the Silent Eaters, a group concerned with tribal welfare. He first went to battle at age 14, in a raid on the Crow, and saw his first encounter with American soldiers in June 1863, when the army mounted a broad campaign in retaliation for the Santee Rebellion in Minnesota, in which Sitting Bull's people played no part. The next year Sitting Bull fought U.S. troops again, at the Battle of Killdeer Mountain, and in 1865 he led a siege against the newly established Fort Rice in present-day North Dakota. Widely respected for his bravery and insight, he became head chief of the Lakota nation about 1868.

Sitting Bull's courage was legendary. Once, in 1872, during a battle with soldiers protecting railroad workers on the Yellowstone River, Sitting Bull led four other warriors out between the lines, sat calmly sharing a pipe with them as bullets buzzed around, carefully reamed the pipe out when they were finished, and then casually walked away.....

...In the fall of 1890, a Miniconjou Lakota named Kicking Bear came to Sitting Bull with news of the Ghost Dance, a ceremony that promised to rid the land of white people and restore the Indians' way of life. Lakota had already adopted the ceremony at the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations, and Indian agents there had already called for troops to bring the growing movement under control. At Standing Rock, the authorities feared that Sitting Bull, still revered as a spiritual leader, would join the Ghost Dancers as well, and they sent 43 Lakota policemen to bring him in. Before dawn on December 15, 1890, the policemen burst into Sitting Bull's cabin and dragged him outside, where his followers were gathering to protect him. In the gunfight that followed, one of the Lakota policemen put a bullet through Sitting Bull's head.

Sitting Bull was buried at Fort Yates in North Dakota, and in 1953 his remains were moved to Mobridge, South Dakota, where a granite shaft marks his grave. He was remembered among the Lakota not only as an inspirational leader and fearless warrior but as a loving father, a gifted singer, a man always affable and friendly toward others, whose deep religious faith gave him prophetic insight and lent special power to his prayers.

For more on this hero go to The Old West Web Ride Website: No longer functioning


"The love of possessions is a disease with them. They take tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich who rule. They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own and fence their neighbours away. If America had been twice the size it is, there still would not have been enough; the Indian would still have been dispossessed."

"The term America, until recent times, was not thought of as the United States of America when used as reference, but the Americas in general, particularly North America. Some Americans still correctly accept this. For instance, during 7/11, when dozens of planes bound for the States were diverted here to Halifax and other Canadian destinations, I was talking to a couple from New Jersey when the husband stated: "It's good to be back in America, even though it's the wrong place."


"One of the results behind forced education may be found in Senator John Logan's attack against Sitting Bull during the Dawes Commission meeting. This occurred at the Hunkpapa Sioux agency, Standing Rock, Aug. 22, 1883.

"Sitting Bull had in a previous meeting been ignored by the commission. When he was finally asked to talk after many others had spoken, he asked them if they knew who he was. They responded that he was no different from any other Native American there but they would be "glad to hear" him. Sitting Bull told them, "I am here by the will of the Great Spirit and by his will I am a chief."

"He accused them of "conducting yourselves like men who have been drinking whiskey." With that and a wave of his hand, every Native American in the room got up and left. The Dawes Commission sat in shock. Here was a powerful chief that rallied all Native Americans and other chiefs behind him. "Such a development endangered the entire Indian policy of the government, which aimed to eradicate everything Indian among the tribes." (2). The Hunkpapa came to Sitting Bull afterwards, assuring him of their loyalty to him. They told him that the Dawes Commission was there to help them keep their land and was not like the previous land thieves. Sitting Bull thought it over and decided to apologize to the commission.

"The next day he arranged a meeting and said to them,"I apologize to you for my bad conduct and to take back what I said." After repeated apologies, Sitting Bull reviewed to the commission all the government's broken promises of the past. He reminded the commission that the Great Father [the president] said that whatever was held against the Native American was forgiven and thrown aside. He again reiterated that he would travel the white man's path but, in order to do so, they needed the tools, livestock and wagons the white man had "because that is the way the white man make their living." The Native Americans were destitute of these things being barely able to subsist on what they did have.

"At this point, Senator John Logan launched his verbal attack against Sitting Bull with vengeance and said, "I want to say that further you are not a great chief of this country. That you have no following, no power, no control." Logan continued, "You are on an Indian reservation merely at the sufferance of the government. You are fed by the government, clothed by the government, your children are educated by the government, and all you have and are today is because of the government. If it were not for the government you would be freezing and starving today in the mountains. I merely say these things to notify you that you cannot insult the people of the United States of America or its committees . . . the government feeds and clothes and educates your children now, and desires to teach you to become farmers, and to civilize you, and make you as white men." (2). The thought here is that the red man was not free to be a red man. He had to be like his conquerors.

"It is not hard to see in these words the ominous forecast of our current welfare society. When the citizen is reduced to abject poverty because of forced government controls in business, education, agricultural, economic and land ownership policies, it is a tragedy. The outrage comes when the citizen is forced, because of these conditions, into accepting government handouts in order to survive and then insulted with the thought of needing to be grateful for to its benefactor. Individual sovereignty is annihilated by the kind weapon of handouts. But education here plays another important role.

"Why was it so important for the government to eradicate the Native American culture starting with the children? Did they want to truly give the Native Americans a better lifestyle or was there something else involved? "During the last quarter of the 19th century, thousands of young Indians were taken off their reservations and sent to federally supported boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into white society." (22). "But of all the government policies designed to end Indian cultures the cruelest was yet to come. Indian people would be robbed of even their children. Across the country Indian children some as young as four years old were taken from their parents often by force and taken to boarding schools. At the boarding schools children were stripped of all outward appearances linking them with their past. Children were forbidden to speak their traditions and sorely punished if they used their native language. Fed distorted images of evil Indians, many came to doubt their own identity." "They took our language away from us that God gave us." Florence Arpan Hokwozhu/Two Kettle Band. (4). The true intent revealed here was eradication of all that made them Native American so they, in essence, became someone else in the mind. By destroying their knowledge of who they were and where they came from, the government did not need to deal with them as a separate nation, but as part of a great whole. The Native Americans would be absorbed into a larger mass of people, thus, they were annihilated, not in color, but in the heart. Welcome to the New World where all are forced to be one big happy family!

"In the beginning there may have been some with good intentions in regard to educating the Native Americans, but the good intentions were lost in the prejudice and bureaucracy. After forcing education on the children, the government gained control over their lives. Any handout provided after the Native Americans were forced off their lands, forced onto reservations with little or no substance, forced into accepting food when the buffalo were slaughtered, forced into accepting clothing because there were no hides for skins, forced into accepting tools when all their weapons were taken away, forced into making treaties that were repeatedly broken by the white man, was taken as a gracious gift requiring greater surrender, greater homage to the gracious giver. Logan proved this when he attempted to strip Sitting Bull of his position as chief by his remarks.

"The WMD in these instances are not bombs or anthrax; they are more subtle. The weapons are gifts given to a down-trodden race deprived of the basic necessities of life being forced to accept them in order to avoid eradication by starvation. Then, when they do accept them out of cruel need, they are degraded for doing so by stinging words of animosity designed to rip away the slightest shred of human dignity. Does this sound familiar? Can we not see in this beginning a forecast of the present movement against the Iraqis with forced starvation?

"Had Senator John Logan thought for even a moment, he might have been horrified at his own words. If the Native Americans were like the white men, the white men would all be dead. The Native Americans would have slaughtered the settlers with superior weapons and driven them back into the sea instead of welcoming them with open arms. If the Native Americans had been like the white men, they would have never made any treaty except to steal more land and ravage the white man to extinction. If the Native Americans had been like the white man, the white man would be sitting on a barren stretch of parched earth lacking any of the basic necessities of life reduced to begging for handouts.

"By 1887 more than two-hundred schools were erected under federal government supervision. The enrollment was over fourteen thousand. The stated purpose was to "civilize" and "educate" the children....

"...In looking at forced compliance in the area of education with the Native Americans it was for an insidious purpose. It amounts to the same principle today as it was with the Native Americans. Forced public education is for the purpose of eradicating American values and forming new ones. It was stated that the government had greater control over the Native American's children than the parents because of the "free" education. It was used to destroy the national individuality of the Native Americans..."

- Report taken from The Winds Website: No longer functioning

To read about some of the horrible suffering endured by American Indians at the hands of the European invaders of the Americas click American Indian Genocide