Published on March 10, 2014 by Amy
The Sioux is a Native American tribal nation consisting of three subdivisions — the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota — whose lands once spread across north central North America, including parts of North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska, and parts of Canada. Many of the tribe’s leaders became known throughout the country during the Indian wars and battles of the late 19th century.
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Sitting Bull is best known as the Native American warrior who routed General George Custer and his troops at the Battle of Little Big Horn. After the battle, Sitting Bull fled with his followers to Canada, trying to outrun a U.S. Army furious over Custer’s defeat. Eventually, Sitting Bull and members of his tribe returned to the U.S. after facing starvation in 1881 and surrendered. Sitting Bull spent time in wild west shows, but was shot and killed in 1890.
Crazy Horse was one of the main battle leaders and chiefs during the Sioux attack on General George Custer during the Battle of Little Big Horn and was one of the main antagonists of the U.S. Army during the Sioux War of 1876-77. He moved near Camp Robinson in Nebraska and it was there that he was killed by an Army guard in September of 1877.
Red Cloud was the long-serving chief of the Ogala Lakota Sioux band, leading them from 1868 to 1909. His tenure included some of the most heated battles between the Sioux and the U.S. government, as well as his people’s eventual relocation onto federal reservations. He was known best for trying to find a peaceful solution to the conflicts with the government, even meeting at one point with President Grant. Red Cloud did not participate in the Sioux Wars of 1876-77. His direct descendants continue to lead the Lakota Sioux.
The nephew of Lakota leader Red Cloud, Young Man Afraid of His Horses, was another chief who was a voice for peace with the U.S. government. He was a key leader for the Sioux after the infamous Wounded Knee Massacre of 1891. Young Man Afraid of His Horses helped the Sioux tribe transition into reservation life as they eventually settled in the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, which was also the site of his death.