poster by Bruce Carter
Today in history, December 29th 1890 - The U.S 7th Cavalry carried out the Wounded Knee Massacre near Wounded knee Creek on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.The Native Indians had gathered to participate in a religious revival movement known as the Ghost Dance. Fearing large numbers of Indians gathered in one place, the U.S military tried to ban the ceremony and crush their right to assembly.
In the aftermath as many as 300 Lakota Sioux men, women and children were killed, many shot in the back while attempting to flee. Their bodies left to freeze in a mass grave. It serves today as a constant reminder and example of the brutal mistreatment and oppression bestowed upon the Indians. Today I remember these ancestors lost on December 29th, 1890, their peace on earth shattered, all those winters ago.
In 2008 a petition was launched demanding that the U.S reclaim the medal of Honour that was given to the 7th Cavalry for their role in the massacre, and to remove any recognition the U.S military bestowed to its entities for the massacre and to obtain the return of personal items taken from the Lakota people.
In 1973 the American Indian Movement (A.I.M ) occupied Wounded Knee, noting its historic significance - a 71 day stand off ensured with federal law enforcement officials. Leonard Peltier an A.I.M leader was asked by traditional people at Pine Ridge in South Dakota to support and protect them. He was later illegally arrested by means of coerced and fraudulent testimony for the murder of 2 F.B.I agents. He is now one of the longest held political prisoners in the United States, 37 years and counting .He is in declining health,so timing for justice is short.
An earlier post on the case can be found here:-
Lakota accounts of massacre at Wounded Knee