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On the morning of December 29, 1890, Big Foot and his warriors were meeting with the Army officers. A pall of nervousness on both sides hung over the camp when suddenly a shot rang out. The soldiers and Indians panicked and the soldiers turned their rifles on the peaceful village inhabitants. From the heights above the camp, two rapid-firing Hotchkiss Guns were trained on the village encampment. As the men, women, elders, children and babies fled, some into the ravine next to the camp, they were cut down in a cross-fire. Those not sufferng that fate were chased by the soldiers and butchered. In all, more than half of the Sioux men, women, and children were massacred in the deep snow and below zero temperatures. Forty-four were wounded and taken to the fort for medical attention. Chief Big Foot was among the first to die.

The massacre at Wounded Knee effectively ended the Ghost Dance movement and was the last large "encounter" of the "Indian Wars".


"We Ask For Nothing More, And Will Accept Nothing Less Than The U.S. Government Keeping The Promises It Has Made To Native Americans."

John E. Echohawk, Executive Director / NARF
(Native American Rights Fund)


"You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is the power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round...The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where the power moves."

Black Elk/Oglala Sioux holy man (1863-1950)


"We have lived it and we still live it".

Anonymous Rosebud Sioux Male, White River, SD


WOUNDED KNEE by Ed McGaa -- Oglala Lakotah Oral History of Dec. 29, 1890.


Wounded Knee Massacre Site

The Indians camped in the trees in the deep snow, December 29, 1890, seeking protection. Col. Forsyth and his troops trained four Hotchkiss canons on the hill above the Indian encampment, in the middle of the night.

Wolf Pack