Sitting Bull was a fearless leader of the Hunkpapa Lakota people. He boldly fought for his tribe’s lands and rights in face of U.S. government policies that threatened their way of life.
His vision triggered one of history’s greatest Native American victories known as “The Battle Of The Little Bighorn,” where Sitting Bull outmaneuvered US troops under Lieutenant Colonel Custer – leading to an improbable victory with no survivors among the enemy forces!
Early Life: Childhood and Youth
Sitting Bull was born in 1831 to the Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux Tribe. He began his formal education with traditional Native American teachings from his parents and elders, being given the name Sitting Bull due to his bravery and assurance.
Sitting Bull grew up a hunter and warrior, participating in tribal wars at a young age. Sitting Bull’s first major battle was against the Crow Tribe in 1854 when he was in his early twenties. He was able to take scalps from the enemy tribe despite their attempts to kill him multiple times, leading his people to victory as chief of the hunting party.
To this day Sitting Bull is remembered as a great leader responsible for uniting various tribes in standing up against the white colonialists which eventually led to victories at both Little Big Horn and Rosebud Creek decades later.
Sioux Rebellion: Resistance to US Government
Indians of the Sioux Nation engaged in a series of conflicts with the United States Government between 1876 and 1890. This uprising, known as the Sioux Rebellion, was sparked by US interference in tribal affairs and a series of broken treaties.
Indians attempted to resist encroaching forces by attacking settlements and military posts to regain control over their territories. In response, the US—led by General George Crook—used a combination of diplomacy, military might, and scorched earth tactics to quell what it considered “hostile Indians”.
Despite their courageous and determined efforts, the Indians were ultimately unable to successfully resist government intrusion into their homelands. As a result, Indians were forced onto reservations throughout what is now the western United States.
Battle of Little Bighorn: Defeating Custer
On June 25th, 1876, at the Battle of Little Bighorn General Custer and 600 US soldiers of the 7th Cavalry encountered a large force of Indians comprising Sioux and Cheyenne warriors estimated to be about three thousand in number.
Despite defending themselves as best they could with rapid-fire carbines against Indians attacking strategically on horseback, Custer’s troops were unable to withstand the Indians’ numbers and experienced 268 dead and 55 severely wounded (6 died later from their wounds) while the Indians suffered only around 31 casualties. This battle is famously known as ‘Custer’s last stand’.
It is also described as the Battle of Agusta Creek or Greasy Grass Creek, as it was referred to by the Indians due to a grass fire that had taken place prior to the battle.
Legacy: Impact on Native Americans
Sitting Bull, a Lakota holy man, and a warrior is arguably one of the most well-known Native American figures in history. During Sitting Bull’s lifetime, he helped to break the army at Peak Butte and stood as a leader for his people during a time of tremendous transition and change.
Sitting Bull’s legacy paved the way for other battles by native nations including Wounded Knee in 1890. Described by some as a massacre that left some 150 Native Americans dead.
Sitting Bull’s fanatical stance against colonization is still an inspiration today among many in Indian Country who have used Sitting Bull’s legacy to create their own ongoing strategies of resistance.
His legacy has become a central part of many Native American cultures and histories, ensuring that Sitting Bull will continue to be remembered long into the future.
Assassination: End of a Movement
Sitting Bull was the leader of the Lakota Sioux for years but he met a tragic end in 1890 when he was assassinated on December 15th by Indian police officers. He was shot in the head and was eventually buried in Fort Yates, North Dakota.
Sitting Bull’s death marked the end of any Native American rights protests that Sitting Bull encouraged as no one else was qualified to take his place.
From this point onwards, Native Americans were forced onto reservations and most forms of civil unrest were stopped.
Sitting Bull’s death signified the practical end of any collective action against the unlawful disarmament and relocation acts implemented by European settlers and the US government at that time.
Sitting Bull is remembered today as a leader who devoted his life to fighting for what he believed was right, even though it cost him his life in the end.
Burial Site: Honoring the Great Leader
Sitting Bull, the great leader of the Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux Tribe was honored with a burial site after his death in 1890. Sitting Bull’s body was wrapped in an American flag and placed on a scaffold, along with his personal belongings.
Sitting Bull’s burial site has long been an important landmark among Native Americans and is considered a sacred site in North Dakota. People who choose to visit the burial site must observe certain respectful behaviors such as refraining from taking pictures or talking loudly near Sitting Bull’s grave.
An annual ceremony is conducted at Sitting Bull’s burial site every December, where Native Americans can come to commemorate Sitting Bull and offer prayers in his honor.
Today Sitting Bull’s remains continue to be celebrated as a symbol of courage and leadership, making this burial site an incredibly poignant reminder of his legacy.
Conclusion: Reflection on Sitting Bull’s Impact
Sitting Bull’s legacy will continue to live on and be celebrated for generations to come. His courage, leadership, and dedication to fighting for what he believed was right have left an indelible mark in history that can still be felt today.
The burial site at Fort Yates serves as a poignant reminder of his impact and it is here where people go each year to honor Sitting Bull’s memory with prayers and respect.
He has become a symbol of strength, resilience, and tenacity among Native Americans who draw inspiration from Sitting Bull’s example when facing their own challenges.
It is clear that the contributions made by this great leader are impossible to ignore or forget—his spirit lives on through our collective memories of him forevermore.