Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

1980 words - 8 pages

Since the first Europeans landed their ships on North American soil, the Indians have been a present people in our history. The peaceful beginnings of relations with the Indians soon turn hostile as greed overtook the genuine humanity of the settlers, causing them to eventually destroy the Indian way of life. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee depicts the relationships between European Americans and Indians from 1492 to 1890 from the perspective of the Indian people.
Pilgrims that landed on the Massachusetts shore in 1492 encountered the Wampanog people, marking the introduction of the two people groups. Without the Indian’s help, the Pilgrims would not have survived the winter in their new ...view middle of the document...

The Santee Sioux Indians endure a harsh year with poor crops, depleting game, and the encroachment of settlers upon their land in 1862. After signing a treaty with American government, they are not given the promised amenities and their irritation with the Army begins to fester. An altercation results in spilt Sioux blood and the beginning of a hopeless fight with American Army for the preservation of their way of life. They attack the whites, but after warring with the Army, the Santee Sioux are eventually defeated. In 1863, they are taken to a reservation at Crow Creek and many members of the tribe are killed, including Chief Little Crow.
More treaty deception ensues with the Cheyenne tribe of Colorado when the Pikes Peak gold rush sparks an influx of settlers into Cheyenne and Arapaho territory. The tribe agrees to a treaty that confines them to a territory from Sandy Creek to the Arkansas River. Conflict arises and fights break between whites and Indians when Civil War soldiers enter their land. Instead of agreeing to the treaty, Colorado Governor authorizes citizens to kill the surrounding Indians. Although the Indians want to negotiate peace, hostile attacks and fighting continue and the Indians agree sign a treaty to leave their land and retreat south of the Arkansas River in 1865.
The Army moves south to Powder River country in late summer of 1865, invading more Indian land. Sioux and Cheyenne tribe harass for their trespassing. The soldiers retaliate by attacking and annihilating an unaware Arapaho village. Conflict rises between Sioux and the army and a war begins. Sioux defeat soldiers at Fort Connor by blockading them. This victory boosts Indian moral and brings hope for restoration of their life style.
Government intent on gaining land for the trails and railroad sets out to negotiate a treaty with the Sioux near Powder River in winter of 1866. Although the treaty fails, the army goes along with the plans to build a railroad through their land. Indians consider attacking the army, but decide instead to wreak havoc on the new road being built. Sioux chief Red Cloud assembles an attack later called Fetterman Massacre by whites. The army attempts peace but the Indians continue to fight for their land. Eventually the Army leaves Powder River country and Red Cloud signs a peace treaty with the U.S. in 1868.
Southern Cheyennes are inspired by the recent Indian victories and attempt to venture back to their homeland. Their efforts result in fighting between them and the army. Ultimately their plan fails and Cheyennes, Kiowas, Comanches, and Arapahos sign treaties that send them to reservations south of Arkansas in 1867. Further uprisings are shut down and Cheyenne numbers continue to dwindle.
Native American Commissioner of Indian Affairs of 1869, Donehogawa is a rare breed in these times. Helpful and fair, he investigated an Indian Massacre and worked to help bring justice to Red Cloud and the Sioux’s in Washington D.C. after...

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