The Massacre at Wounded Knee

Wounded Knee

Russell Means at Wounded Knee

I have researched about the massacre and I wanted to create an interactive learning site. In learning more, I realized even more than I already did that there is a direct link between what happened in the past to what is happening right now. There has been a non-stop battle for the natural resources of North and South Dakota.

Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868)

This is an excerpt from the Treaty of Fort Laramie(1868)

This article of the treaty gives the guidelines the Sioux had to live by, and how they had to treat the Americans. If you skim over the rest of the treaty, you realize that there are no guidelines on how the Americans had to treat the Native Americans.

In consideration of the advantages and benefits conferred by this treaty and the many pledges of friendship by the United States, the tribes who are parties to this agreement hereby stipulate that they will relinquish all right to occupy permanently the territory outside their reservations as herein defined, but yet reserve the right to hunt on any lands north of North Platte, and on the Republican Fork of the Smoky Hill river, so long as the buffalo may range thereon in such numbers as to justify the chase. And they, the said Indians, further expressly agree:

1st. That they will withdraw all opposition to the construction of the railroads now being built on the plains.

2d. That they will permit the peaceful construction of any railroad not passing over their reservation as herein defined.

3d. That they will not attack any persons at home, or travelling, nor molest or disturb any wagon trains, coaches, mules, or cattle belonging to the people of the United States, or to persons friendly therewith.

4th. They will never capture, or carry off from the settlements, white women or children.

5th. They will never kill or scalp white men, nor attempt to do them harm.

6th. They withdraw all pretence of opposition to the construction of the railroad now being built along the Platte river and westward to the Pacific ocean, and they will not in future object to the construction of railroads, wagon roads, mail stations, or other works of utility or necessity, which may be ordered or permitted by the laws of the United States. But should such roads or other works be constructed on the lands of their reservation, the government will pay the tribe whatever amount of damage may be assessed by three disinterested commissioners to be appointed by the President for that purpose, one of the said commissioners to be a chief or headman of the tribe.

7th. They agree to withdraw all opposition to the military posts or roads now established south of the North Platte river, or that may be established, not in violation of treaties heretofore made or hereafter to be made with any of the Indian tribes.


To read the full treaty go to this link

Buffalo and Gold

The buffalo herds were decimated with the expressed purpose of starving the people out. Next, the fight for water rights began as the gold miners claimed all of the land around the creeks. The type of gold found in loose rock that washed down the creeks was called placer gold. The gold miners wanted to find where it washed down from. I learned about how Hearst established his riches with the Homestake Gold Mine, the largest gold mine in the U.S. . General Custer protected miners on their way to this area. Wounded Knee was retaliation for Custer’s demise at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Members of the same 7th Calvary that had been at the Battle of Little Big Horn were also at Wounded Knee with the Hollister canons that were used to kill the women and children. Yet the written accounts refer to a question about how such a bad thing could happen! In researching the events and the participants it is plain that this was pure hateful vengeance and greed.

Depravity and Violence and Trying to Survive

In reading the first hand witness accounts, the depravity and violence was not about fear. The actions of the soldiers were totally unjustified. I read how the group under Black Elk (Big Foot) were searched for guns before they were escorted and made to camp at Wounded Knee. The soldiers knew that they had a large group of predominately unarmed women, children, and elderly. Black Elk was sick with pneumonia. They were carrying a white flag of truce. The camp was totally surrounded by troops. This event is not even the worse, but it was a pivotal moment as all of the great chiefs were assassinated one by one and the sheer barbarity of Wounded Knee made the Lakota retreat into hiding in order to save whatever they could. With this singular event with women, children, a sick chief, all under a flag of truce the soldiers tried to kill every single person there.

Leaking Oil Pipes

Has anything changed? The unjust treatment and abuse continues still with the government trying now to just take the land for private corporations. In my readings it became very clear to me that the issue of pipelines leaking is really a non-issue. Because if the past is any lesson, the fact the the water gets poisoned is just another way to remove the people off the land.

Below are a few references:

Killing the Buffalo

Gold Mining in the Black Hills

The Battle of Little Big Horn

The Battle of Little Big Horn Historic Park


My interactive site is located: Seaside Dreams


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