The story of the Lakota Sioux's loss of their spiritual homelands and their remarkable legal battle to regain it The Lakota Indians counted among their number some of the most famous Native Americans, including Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. Their homeland was in the magnificent Black Hills in South Dakota, where they found plentiful game and held religious ceremonies at charged locations like Devil's Tower. Bullied by settlers and the U. S. Army, they refused to relinquish the land without a fight, most famously bringing down Custer at Little Bighorn. In 1873, though, on the brink of starvation, the Lakotas surrendered the Hills. But the story does not end there. Over the next hundred years, the Lakotas waged a remarkable campaign to recover the Black Hills, this time using the weapons of the law. In The Lakotas and the Black Hills, the latest addition to the Penguin Library of American Indian History, Jeffrey Ostler moves with ease from battlefields to reservations to the Supreme Court, capturing the enduring spiritual strength that bore the Lakotas through the worst times and kept alive the dream of reclaiming their cherished homeland.
On December 29, 1890, the US Seventh Cavalry killed more than two hundred Lakota Ghost Dancers - including men, women, and children - at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota. After the work of death ceased at Wounded Knee Creek, the work of memory commenced. For the US Army and some whites,Wounded Knee represented the site where the struggle between civilization and savagery for North America came to an end. For other whites, it was a stain on the national conscience, a leading example of America's dishonorable dealings with Native peoples. For Lakota people it was the site of the"biggest murders," where the United States violated its treaty promises and slaughtered innocents.Historian David Grua argues that Wounded Knee serves as a window into larger debates over how the US's conquest of the indigenous peoples should be remembered. Opposing efforts to memorialize the event ultimately proved a contest over language and assumptions rooted in the concept of "race war" orthe struggle between "civilization" and "savagery." Was Wounded Knee a heroic "battle" - the final victory of the American empire in the trans-Mississippi West? Or was it a "massacre" that epitomized the nation's failure to deal honorably with Native peoples? Even today, over a century later, thetransmission of memory to survivors' descendants remains potent, and December 29, 2015, the 125th anniversary of Wounded Knee, will be marked by commemorations and lingering questions about the United States' willingness to address the liabilities of Indian conquest.
Although ledger art has long been considered a male art form, Women and Ledger Art calls attention to the extraordinary achievements of four contemporary female Native artists—Sharron Ahtone Harjo (Kiowa), Colleen Cutschall (Oglala Lakota), Linda Haukaas (Sicangu Lakota), and Dolores Purdy Corcoran (Caddo). The book examines these women's interpretations of their artwork and their thoughts on tribal history and contemporary life.
Born of encounters between Indigenous women and Euro-American men in the first decades of the nineteenth century, the Plains Metis people occupied contentious geographic and cultural spaces. Living in a disputed area of the northern Plains inhabited by various Indigenous nations and claimed by both the United States and Great Britain, the Metis emerged as a people with distinctive styles of speech, dress, and religious practice, and occupational identities forged in the intense rivalries of the fur and provisions trade. Michel Hogue explores how, as fur trade societies waned and as state officials looked to establish clear lines separating the United States from Canada and Indians from non-Indians, these communities of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry were profoundly affected by the efforts of nation-states to divide and absorb the North American West. Grounded in extensive research in U.S. and Canadian archives, Hogue's account recenters historical discussions that have typically been confined within national boundaries and illuminates how Plains Indigenous peoples like the Metis were at the center of both the unexpected accommodations and the hidden history of violence that made the "world's longest undefended border."