Today in history: December 29, 1890 - The U.S. 7th Cavalry carries out the Wounded Knee Massacre near Wounded Knee Creek on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. As many as 300 Lakota Sioux men, women, and children were killed, many shot in the back while trying to flee. Their bodies were left to freeze in a mass grave. Twenty-five troopers also died, and 39 were wounded (6 later died). In 2008 a petition was started demanding that the U.S. reclaim the twenty Medals of Honor that were given to the 7th Calvary for their role in the Massacre at Wounded Knee, to remove any recognition the US military bestows to its entities for the massacre, and to obtain the return of personal items taken from Lakota people at the 1890 Massacre. In 1973, the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupied Wounded Knee, noting its historic significance — a 71-day standoff ensued with federal law enforcement officials.
(image: We Remember Wounded Knee 1890-1973 poster by Bruce Carter)
Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)
THIS is where I rose out of. Like a phoenix.
BLEHHHHH ON AARON HUEY. But Yay for Oglala Lakota’s, because we’re teh shit.
http://www.du.edu/tedxdu/video/huey.html - talk by Aaron Huey
http://www.aaronhuey.com/ - his legit website, with AMAZING photos. One of my favourite series is his work done in the Pine Ridge reservation for the Lakota people - it looks at the nobility, and the poverty. The work is incredible beautiful :).
He says, “The Lakota are one of many people who were moved off their land to prisoner of war camps - now called reservations. The Pine Ridge Reservation…is sometimes referred to as Prisoner of War Camp #334, and it is where the Lakota now live.
“I’m white, and that is a huge barrier on an Indian Reservation…On Pine Ridge, I will always be called washichu - a Lakota word that means “non-Indian”. But, another version of this word means, “one who takes the best meat for himself”…It means greedy…If we look at our lives, we have indeed, taken the best part of the meat. Let us look today, at a set of photographs of people who lost, so that we could gain…These photographs are not just of the Lakota, they stand for all indigenous people.
“The last chapter in any successful genocide, is one in which the oppressor can remove their hands and say, ‘My God! What are these people doing to themselves? They’re killing each other, they’re killing themselves, while we watch them die.” Prisoners are still born into prisoner of war camps, long after the guards are gone. These are the bones left, after the best meat has been taken.
“As removed as we, the dominant society, may feel, from a massacre in 1890, or a series of broken treaties a hundred and fifty years ago, I still have to ask you the question, how should you feel about the statistics of today? …the suffering of indigenous people is not something simple to fix. The fix, as it’s called, may be more difficult to the dominant society, than a $50 cheque, or a church trip to paint some graffiti covered houses, or a suburban family donating a box of clothes they don’t even want any more. Honour the treaties, give back the black hills.”
It’s so powerful, so ignored, the significance of the indigenous people. Peace cannot come while this remains so.