How did Oyate—The People come to live in the Black Hills?
Borders are defined through battles. Like all nations in the world, borders secured during battles define them. Some, however, are lost and gained through deceit and outright theft. This short excerpt is from Tears Of Sorrow–A Free Nation Lost.
Anton and Star Woman rode to one side as the other two men talked.
“You mean the hills themselves? When we approach, they look black compared to the surrounding land. They just come up out of nowhere; black and beautiful, rising out of the prairie.”
“What makes them look so dark?”
“As you get closer you notice that it’s the pines, so thick and heavy with shadow, they take on the appearance of being black. It’s a beautiful place, a sacred place.”
He reached forward to pull the remnants of sage weed from his horse’s mane, running his fingers to remove the tangle.
CUSTER IS DEAD, LITTLE BIG HORN IS IN THE PAST, AND SITTING BULL REMAINS ONE STEP AHEAD OF COLONEL NELSON A. MILES.
A meeting is held between the two men and the Great Chief refuses to surrender his people and move to reservation land. Colonel Miles views the chief's decision as stubborn defiance and steps up his campaign against the people.
In 1877, under increased pressure from Colonel Miles and the U.S. military, Sitting Bull, who had been consistently on the move with his people, leads them into Canada. Settling in a place called Wood Mountain, they once again find the free life they love, with buffalo to hunt without fear of attack by the U.S. Army.
In the latter part of 1879 things changed for them. The buffalo no longer ranged that far north because the U.S. Army set fires to keep them south of the border. With knowledge of the state the Indians were in, the U.S. Government offered amnesty and food to the Sioux. Emissaries for the United States government began to cause discord by telling the young Lakota that the Indians were enjoying reservation life in the United States. There, food was distributed and they were allowed to hunt with primitive weapons. Both appealed to the young, and discord began to grow.
At seventy-six, I’m at the beginning of a new chapter in a life filled with blessings from above, adventure, love of family, and kinships reaching into the heavens and to God himself. —AND— I love to tell a story.