Meadow Flowers at Standing Rock

Fourteen miles up the road from where this photo was taken lies the town of Little Eagle, SD.
Here, on December 15th, 1890, Agency police under orders to arrest the great Hunkpapa Lakota holy man due to fears by James McLaughlin, the Indian Agent at Fort Yates, that he would use his influence to support the Ghost Dance Movement shot and killed Sitting Bull.
There is a memorial stone marking the spot where he died near Little Eagle. There is also one in Ft. Yates where his body was interred.
Sitting Bull had foreseen his own death, according to Allen Flies By, a Lakota man who was one of the early organizers of the resistance at Standing Rock when plans for the Dakota Access Pipeline were first revealed in 2015.
Sitting Bull had warned his family that he would be killed. After he was buried at Fort Yates, Allen Flies By told me yesterday, the Indian Agent had soldiers bodies buried on top of Sitting Bull’s. But he said his family disinterred Sitting Bull’s bones at a later date and buried them in a secret place near Mobridge, SD. Though three towns claim to memorialize Sitting Bull, the true grave lies near Mobridge. I would like to visit that site to pay respects.
But for now I am leaving Standing Rock behind me and heading west again, and south, to Pine Ridge where 14 days after Sitting Bull’s assassination, the 7th Cavalry caught up with a starving unarmed band of Hunkpapa Lakota traveling under the leadership of Chief Bigfoot and massacred them in the snow at Wounded Knee, using Hotchkiss Gatling guns. Three children were rescued later clinging to the corpses of their mothers. Others bled and froze to death in a three day blizzard. More Congressional Medals of Honor (20) were handed out for this massacre than for any other battle – indeed more than for many wars the US had engaged in. The Lakota still demand that those medals be recalled, in shame.

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