Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

The 1970 book by Dee Brown is a nonfiction account focused on the genocide of the American Indian between 1860 and 1890. Brown's extensive primary research tells the story of America's goal of Manifest Destiny and the struggle of the American Indian to hold on to their lands and preserve their cultures in the words of first-person reports by American soldiers and the American Indians involved in the struggle.

The 2007 film of the same name begins in the 1880s, after the U. S. Army's defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn as the government continues to push Sioux Indians off their land.

Using the film and the assigned readings, answer the following questions:

1. What battle is being portrayed at the beginning of the movie? Who was involved? Who won?

2. What did the Federal Government want from the Oglala Sioux Indians and Chief Red Cloud?


3. How did General Miles insult Chief Sitting Bull? Why was this important?


4. Where did Chief Sitting Bull take his people? What were the conditions put upon the Lakota Sioux in order to stay?


5. What are some examples of how Native Americans were either choosing to, or being forced to, assimilate into white American culture?

6. How did Sitting Bull feel about assimilation? What about Charles Eastman? How is Charles Eastman caught between two cultures? Sitting Bull?

7. How does Senator Dawes feel about the Indians? How does he remain both an ally to the Sioux and an ally to the government at the same time? Does he?


8. Think about the events leading up to the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek. What were some of the main issues?  Could the massacre have been prevented? How?

Answer & Explanation

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