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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.
Documents the 1830s policy shift of the U.S. government through which it discontinued efforts to assimilate Native Americans in favor of forcibly relocating them west of the Mississippi, in an account that traces the decision's specific effect on the Cherokee Nation, U.S.-Indian relations, and contemporary society.
Black Hills/White Justice tells of the longest active legal battle in United States history: the century-long effort by the Sioux nations to receive compensation for the seizure of the Black Hills. Edward Lazarus, son of one of the lawyers involved in the case, traces the tangled web of laws, wars, and treaties that led to the wresting of the Black Hills from the Sioux and their subsequent efforts to receive compensation for the loss. His account covers the Sioux nations? success in winning the largest financial award ever offered to an Indian tribe and their decision to turn it down and demand nothing less than the return of the land.
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.
This volume, first published in 2004, presents an overview of the history of the Plains Sioux as they became increasingly subject to the power of the United States in the 1800s. Many aspects of this story - the Oregon Trail, military clashes, the deaths of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, and the Ghost Dance - are well-known. Besides providing fresh insights into familiar events, the book offers an in-depth look at many lesser-known facets of Sioux history and culture. Drawing on theories of colonialism, the book shows how the Sioux creatively responded to the challenges of US expansion and domination, while at the same time revealing how US power increasingly limited the autonomy of Sioux communities as the century came to a close. The concluding chapters of the book offer a compelling reinterpretation of the events that led to the Wounded Knee massacre of December 29, 1890.
“Reinhardt furnishes revealing portraits of Gerald One Feather, Dick Wilson, Russell Means; he offers a telling indictment of Pine Ridge’s economy. He is one of the few historians who understands the distinction D’Arcy McNickle made decades ago between loss and defeat. He and the late Vine Deloria, Jr. would have welcomed this volume because of its thorough research and, above all, its unflinching honesty. Writing in 1970 Deloria called for historians to ‘bring historical consciousness to the whole Indian story.’ Ruling Pine Ridge achieves that goal. It will be required reading for all who care about not only the indigenous past but as well its connection to the problems of the present and the challenges of the 21st century.” —Peter Iverson, author of Diné: A History of the Navajos Incorporating previously overlooked materials, including tribal council records, oral histories, and reservation newspapers, Ruling Pine Ridge explores the political history of South Dakota’s Oglala Lakota reservation during the mid-twentieth century. Akim D. Reinhardt examines the reservation’s transition from the direct colonialism of the pre–1934 era to the indirect colonial policies of the controversial Indian Reorganization Act (IRA). The new federal approach to Indian politics was evident in the advent of the tribal council governing system, which is still in place today on Pine Ridge and on many other reservations. While the structure of the reservation’s governing body changed dramatically to reflect mainstream American cultural values, certain political equations on the reservation changed very little. In particular, despite promises to the contrary, the new reservation government’s authority was still severely constrained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In addition, the new governing format led to an aggravation of social divisions on the reservation. Reinhardt then examines the period of 1968–1973, showing that many of the political players on the reservation had changed, and although the tribal council system was well established by this point, deep dissatisfaction with the IRA government persisted on Pine Ridge. This longstanding unhappiness came to a head in 1973, with the occupation and siege of Wounded Knee. Reinhardt demonstrates that the siege is best understood not as a political stunt of the American Indian Movement (AIM), but as a spontaneous, grassroots protest that was at least forty years in the making.

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