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What Happened At Wounded Knee

Updated on June 28, 2013

Do you know what happened at Wounded Knee?

The White Man made over 600 treaties with the Native Americans and they broke each and every treaty they ever made. The White Man destroyed the culture of the Native American people and beat Native American children if they were caught speaking their Native American languages.

I want to ask you a very serious question. Do you know what happened at Wounded Knee in 1890. Do you know the real story. Do you know that on December 29th 1890 that members of the US Seventh Calvary ( Over 500 Enlisted Men And Officers Of The US 7th Calvary ) surrounded an encampment of Native American people of the Miniconjou Sioux and the Hunkpapa Sioux and massacred every man, woman and child of the Lakota people. You can see pictures here on this page of the dead Native Americans who were murdered that day. Because that is actually what happened is that those Native American Men, Women, and Children were murdered.

The White Man called it a battle and did you know that the most Medals of Honor ever awarded in a single battle were awarded. If you can believe it there were 20 Medals of Honor awarded for the actions that day by members of the US 7th Calvary. Those 20 medals should be revoked and the names of the men who won them should be removed from the record book. It was the highest number of Medals of Honor ever issued for a single US battle. And it was not a battle it was a massacre.

Its important to keep in mind that the Native Americans had already been disarmed and surrounded by US troops from the 7th Calvary when they suddenly attacked and massacred at Wounded Knee. Why would you award Medals of Honor to men who committed one of the worst crimes in history. They murdered these people. Check out the photos. Watch the videos and then please let us hear from you below in the comment section. Tell us your thoughts.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mass grave for the dead Lakota after massacre of Wounded KneeMiniconjou Chief Big Foot lies dead in the snow. He was among the first to die on December 29, 1890Civilian grave diggers bury the Lakota dead in  a mass grave.Ghost Dance ShirtArapaho Ghost DanceAn Army officer looking at the dead
Mass grave for the dead Lakota after massacre of Wounded Knee
Mass grave for the dead Lakota after massacre of Wounded Knee
Miniconjou Chief Big Foot lies dead in the snow. He was among the first to die on December 29, 1890
Miniconjou Chief Big Foot lies dead in the snow. He was among the first to die on December 29, 1890
Civilian grave diggers bury the Lakota dead in  a mass grave.
Civilian grave diggers bury the Lakota dead in a mass grave.
Ghost Dance Shirt
Ghost Dance Shirt
Arapaho Ghost Dance
Arapaho Ghost Dance
An Army officer looking at the dead
An Army officer looking at the dead

American Indian Movement

AIM or American Indian Movement was founded by Dennis Banks, Herb Powless,Clyde Bellecourt, Russell Means, and Eddie Benton Banai. It is a American Indian Activist Organization that fights for the rights of American Natives.

It is most famous for its seizure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1972 and the standoff at Wounded Knee in 1973.

Today AIM continues to fight for the rights of the Native American people all over the United States. AIM does everything it can to fight for the rights of the Native American People.

Ghosts of Wounded Knee

Wovoka - Paiute Holy Man
Wovoka - Paiute Holy Man

The Ghost Dance was invented by a Paiute Holy Man named Wovoka and it scared the hell out of the white authorities at that time. It was in December of 1890 that the white authorities banned the Ghost Dance on Lakota reservations. When the rites of the ghost dance continued the white authorities called in the soldiers and it was this that led to the Massacre at Wounded Knee.

It was at about this same time that Sitting Bull and seven of his followers were killed by whites and American Indian Policemen. Seven of the American Indian Policemen were also killed at this time.

What Happened At Wounded Knee? Why were Medals of Honor awarded for murder. Below is a photo of a US Calvary Officier riding thru the dead Sioux.

Wounded Knee became a catch phrase for all the wrongs inflicted on Native Americans by the descendants of Europeans. In 1973, Indian activist, drawing on the courage of their ancestors, would stage another confrontation there.
Wounded Knee became a catch phrase for all the wrongs inflicted on Native Americans by the descendants of Europeans. In 1973, Indian activist, drawing on the courage of their ancestors, would stage another confrontation there.

Do you know what happened at Wounded Knee in 1890? How about 1973? Post your comments now.

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Nothing can ever express how I feel about this. So deeply sad.

      All other countries came here was to be for Freedom , equality, peace and Land. Now it is more than just the "white man". It is all races. The "First Nations" and "Metis" gave up their Souls, Culture, Religion, Land and Freedom so others in the world could have theirs! A gift to the world!...... a world who did not understand or appreciate, even today. Still they do not learn........perhaps never will.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      its not about white and red, not about them and us, its all about us - cruelness inside of us, that's all.

    • profile image

      Black Rose 

      6 years ago

      It is something to think about that America is one of the very few countries that is still occupied by an invading force, the indigenous people still downtrodden.

    • profile image

      Lisa Poitra 

      6 years ago

      I see this as an obscene abuse of power by the government. I always have. I am Chippewa, and my heart hurts for every one of my brothers and sisters that died that day and since. The issues of the natives then and now are not talked about. I feel like we are their dirty little secret. Not to be talked about. It is very frustrating. I have seen so much that is wrong, even today. Thank you for letting others in on the truth. It helps others to see a little into the plight of the original people of America.

    • CENTURION2501 profile image


      6 years ago

      Most Empires seemed to absorb the cultures of the people they conquered, ie Alexander The Great, The Persian, The Roman, dare I say even The Catholic & The British Empire. They were open to new idea's, new foods, culture, God's even.

      In my opinion the American empire began at home, by uniting the continental North of America, and that meant silencing any voice of discontent, as well as eradicating any sign of any original inhabitants. It wouldn't do to have the Native Americans around, it would be like taking possession of a new "home", with the original occupants still in residence.

      Most white people of the day considered non whites as a lower life forms, making it easier on their conscience, when they mistreated them etc. It seems to me that as long as non whites spoke their own tongue, they were considered animal like. This is only a personal view, but I think attitudes changed towards African Americans, when they began to master the English language, it's harder to kill some "one" as opposed to some "thing".

      Native Americans rarely used English to converse and so it was easier to square away killing them in everyone's mind, Buffalo Soldiers (English speaking, African Americans)were even used in The Indian Wars. The language thing is just my own hypothesis, and I maybe very wrong, so please forgive me that, But I saw the same thing in Afghanistan, how soldiers of our armies treated non English speaking locals. Perhaps being a Brit' and coming from a culture where other peoples cultures are on display much more openly than in The US, where immigrants try to be more American than the Americans. You would have to see and experience the difference to fully understand my point, sorry. I think Brit's in general did find it easier out there than your guy's winning hearts and minds, after all many people who live in the UK cant, or wont learn our language, or even try to "fit in" if you like. so accustomed to this way of life we don't treat people like dirt just because they're not like "us".

      I think wherever Americans go in force every one has to become like them, or risk losing any credibility and a place at the table. Go almost anywhere on Earth and you will see American products, culture and influence. So The American Empire tends to force, or coerce everyone to it's ways etc and in that, it is completely different to all previous empires. I think the attitude that America had towards Native Americans and how to deal with them was the same attitude exhibited in some of its more modern wars, Korea & Vietnam for example and to some degree the terribly named War on Terror. Out number, out gun and give no quarter. But, unfortunately these foe's had allies, where Native Americans didn't. The War on Terror has opened a can of worms that I'm afraid will not be closed easily, if at all.

      I am not anti American by any means my grandfather and great grandfather fought in the World Wars, and I know that my country enjoys the freedom we have today thanks to The USA, They knew,and I grew up being taught that without help we would have lost both Wars. I served in the British Armed Forces alongside American men & women, I did hate the attitude they turned up with, most were very racist and looked down there noses even at us Brit's, but some time "in country" helped them adjust their behavior. It just seems like colonel Custer is still alive and so is the attitude.

    • profile image

      Jade McCartney 

      6 years ago

      There is nothing! no words or theories that exposes inexpensive as "history" to justify this fact so abhorrent and horrible. To those who seek to justify this terrible and disgusting Slaughter of Wounded Knee. Then I say, justify the Holocaust, and apologize to Hittler and the Nazi movement! because they also had their reasons to like the soldiers who opened fire on women, children, elderly and defenseless men. Here there is nothing to justify the 7 th cavalry who perpetrated this hideous massacre. The honor they never had and his medals are stained with innocent blood, and history will remember what they are about ¡MURDERERS! ¡MURDERERS! ¡MURDERERS! ¡MURDERERS! ¡MURDERERS! ¡MURDERERS!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I just wanted to bring up a few other things to think about. It is undeniable what took place at Wounded Knee is deplorable, however there were more things at work that created that situation then a simple desire to eradicate Native Americans. The first thing you must be careful of when analyzing a historical event is not to analyze using the morality of today if you truly want to understand what happened, because people of that time period operated under different moral codes compared to what we consider normal today. During this time period, moving or subjugating racial and ethnic groups was fairly common practice and common thought was that it was the job of the white man to "civilize" these groups (Kipling's "White Man's Burden" is a good example of this. I would like to remind the commenter from the Netherlands that this not only happened with Native peoples in the US, but also in European colonies in Africa and Asia, something which governments of those countries are also not eager to confront (a truly barbaric example would be the Belgian Congo). However, lets come back to Wounded Knee. Place yourself in the shoes of either a Native person or a calvaryman. There is obviously much tension between the two groups and misunderstandings due to cultural differences are common place. Due to the breaking of treaties on the part of the government life is extremely difficult of the Lakota and Dakota peoples, so it is easy to see why they might turn to the ghost dance in an effort to improve their situation and return to a time before the white man. The cavalrymen on the other hand simply hear that this dance will make the Natives invincible and 'cause white men like themselves to disappear. Considering the belief systems of the time it is easy to see why this might put the cavalrymen on edge. Lets advance to the day of the massacre, you have a bunch of very nervous cavalrymen and a large group of equally nervous Natives, all you hear is a gunshot (you do not know who fired), are you going to wait to figure it out or be shot at or are you going to fire? After that mob mentality takes over, or battle lust, or whatever you wish to call it, and we all know how the story ends. Like I said in the beginning it is a horrible event and should be retold so it doesn't happen again and also to understand Native mistrust of the government, however it is also important to try to put yourself in the shoes of the people involved to try and understand the event, rather then simply judging using hindsight.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Movies like "Thrive", "Zeitgeist", "Loose Change", and similar ones indicate that almost ninety percent of all humanity is going to be treated like the native indigenous group at Wounded Knee. There is a tapeworm in the world economy, and this is the elite opulent leisure class. The hardline profiteers who sponsor attacks against life, such as the massacre December 1890 of the Sioux and Lakota are forming a new world order of banking cartels. The result will be a number of fortified cities for them, and pollution, filth and starvation for everyone else. Then a system of eradication and eugenics. Please at least view these movies to get a better idea of what we are moving in to as a society. The massacred Americans at Wounded Knee already knew what the greatest spirits want us to learn. Harmony, Compassion, Empathy and a sympathetic balance with nature. - All of us are at risk, this means you and your family as well!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ever since I was a child and watched the western genre about the Native Americans I have always felt great sadness that no one could see how the treatment of these people was unfair and unjust. What makes me even more sad is that this continues in the 21st century so man,s inhumanity to man continues unabated. The creator whatever we each call him watches over all and there will be a reckoning for each and every one of us. We need to walk a path where we do no evil to each other. If we stand by and watch and do nothing then we are guilty also. For every action there is a consequence. I read somewhere that native americans believe that you should walk the earth and leave no trace in other words do no damage. Sound thinking. If we all did this maybe there will be a world to be proud of.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I live in The Netherlands, in Europe. We still remember the second world war, the holocause. I think people in the US are very much aware of what happened here in Europe in those days. How can it be that the people of America know about the slaughters that went on in our countries and don't seem to be aware of what slaughter went on in their own country...? It is a disgrace and those medalls should be revoked and above all: history should be re-written. The Truth may be known. And, recently I saw a photo of a reservation, Pine Rdge. I was shocked! And even more so, that a huge nation like America, doesn't seem to give anything about the people whom they robbed of their land and their dignity. A rich country and meanwhile the original inhabitants are living as... well, in fact their living, that I call starvation! I do understand that the ones responsible are not alive anomore, but, why is it, that this situation isn't solved? I mean: an official apoligy and apropriorate help for the native people and then all of you can start again, with a clean slate. Looking at the photo's I thought: what if it were my grandmother laying in the snow? bullet shot through her head... And the photo where it said: mass grave... that is not a mass grave. In a mass-grave you treat a human being with dignity and this shows that the ones standing beside the grave, they are heartless. I think the american governement is a disgrace! They should bow their heads in shame!!

    • Anthea Carson profile image

      Anthea Carson 

      7 years ago from Colorado Springs

      Thank you for telling this story, it is not told enough. Native American people have been treated worse than dogs in this country.

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • profile image

      jose renato 

      8 years ago

      Today! the american native live in bad condition!I think the Government don´t respect them!were is the government?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      this builds on how disgusted i am with humanity

      unnecesary and possibly the most messed up thing i have heard of

    • Cathi Sutton profile image

      Cathi Sutton 

      8 years ago

      White people seem to have come to this country for wealth and greed in many ways. The original people were in the way to these greedy people. The promises of many whites were only an illusion to get what they wanted. So the original people were moved, shuffled, murdered. It is a shame to the country. I doubt a time will ever come when fairness is the prime motivator where the original people are concerned. This is another shame. Now the country has been dirtied, raped, exploited, because of the desire for wealth. For greed. It never seems to end. One place is strickened, then left for dead. Another place is used, abused, and the story moves forward. Look at Detroit... taken at some point. Factories were put up. Pollution was spewed into the air, the rivers. Now a fourth of the town is set to be bulldozed. So what was the point? Just to make some greedy people wealthy? What will happen to the white people when all the land is wasted and the only place left clean is the land "given" to the original people? And what will all the wealth matter if there is nothing to buy? Maybe my point of view is of no value. But I believe there is a reckoning comin to this land. I hope I will not bw swept away.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i think that was a terrible thing and it shoudn't of happened.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for thr info

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      8 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Yes it is terrible indeed at what was done and continues to be done to the Native American People. And you know what? No one really seems to care.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • profile image

      Andy S 

      9 years ago

      I am currently researching my latest book, some of which involves photography of the American Indians. Not only does it astound me at how poorly they have hitherto been treated; I am also surprised at the lack of understanding of their diminishing culture by some white Americans. Wounded Knee is just the tip of the iceberg. Many, many other atrocities against their cultures have taken place and I can only imagine their suffering.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      You are so right. The Native Americans were treated shamefully and brutally by the White Man. And He did break all his treaties.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      9 years ago from East Coast , United States

      It was one of the worst days in the history of the Sioux people but up you rarely hear it mentioned.

    • lbtrader profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      It must have been awful. I'll never understand the mentality of a soldier or a warrior....

      I personally would have been a shaman.


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