Alvin Josephy once noted that when the American Government wanted to show off our country to the world, it used images of Plains Indians, splendid in feathered headdresses and riding horses. It matched the image of Indians carried by most non-Indian Americans—omitting the hundreds of tribes and cultures of farming, hunting, gathering, and fishing Indians that the Europeans encountered on arrival. And putting them on European horses.
Sadly and ironically, these iconic Indians were Lakota, or Dakota, known collectively as Sioux—and, historically, some of the most hounded and abused tribal people in America!
In the early days of the Civil War, the Dakota—four major bands of Siouxian Indians—were squeezed onto smaller and smaller reservations along the Minnesota River, and promised commodities and annuity payments by solemn treaty in exchange for the hunting, farming, and gathering grounds taken from them by white settlers. Federal Indian agents and a Minnesota governor skimmed and stoleRead The Article