Saturday, August 16, 2014

Biographical Documentary: Sitting Bull

Sitting Bull: Chief of the Lakota Nation, Biography, (1995)
This biography started as more a history of the Sioux.  It especially follow Red Cloud, and the Red Cloud War who was upset that the Whites, and the military were moving in the Powder River area.  They were building forts without permission or treaty to do so.  For this he went to war, and actually won.  A treaty was negotiated, where the Sioux agreed to go to reservation, but the Powder River area was preserved for the Sioux. 
Sitting Bull became prominent after this, more as a spiritual leader.  Red Cloud became a reservation chief, but Sitting Bull felt this was silly, and criticized those on the reservation who stayed for the bacon given by the government. 
It wasn't for several years, when gold was discovered in the Black Hills.  This area was sacred to the Sioux, but whites coveted the area for the gold.  General George Armstrong Custer gave positive reports, and encouraged the white population to move in.  However he could not support this with military might.
The contribution of Sitting Bull was a vision he had about a month before Little Big Horn, where he saw soldiers falling into the Sioux City.  Custer lead his men into this city.  Crazy Horse was war chief that day, and lead his men to victory.  The battle only lasted 20 minutes.
Although they were victorious, thee Native Americans lost.  The repercussions of the American military were total against the Sioux, with a scorched earth campaign where villages were burned and crops destroyed, and whatever they might be able to eat was destroyed.  The Indians had to submit.  Crazy Horse agreed to live on the reservation.  Sitting Bull took those with him and fled to Canada.  However, after living in poverty for four years, he returned.  Sitting Bull returned to the reservation, but did not stay.  He joined the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show. 
Later in life Sitting Bull had another dream, that he was killed by another Sioux. There was great excitement about the ghost dance among the Sioux.  Perhaps this would give them the power to throw up the control of the whites. other Sioux.  As the participated in the dance, dancing all night, the BIA agent ordered them to stop.  The continued.  He deputized 20 Sioux to go arrest Sitting Bull.  In the scuffle Sitting Bull was shot and killed.  This lead to the last battled, that of Sounded Knee where many Sioux were slaughtered.

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