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HIS 100 - Perspectives in History

Tulsa Massacre, Wounded Knee Occupation, Stonewall Rebellion, Haitian Independence, Philippine Revolution, Iranian Revolution, The Great London Smog, Creation of Earth Day, Chernobyl, Creation of the UN, Act Prohibiting Slavery, Founding of NATO

Wounded Knee Occupation

According to the Salem Press Encyclopedia (Please note, encyclopedias/tertiary sources should NOT be cited in your assignment. Scroll down for primary and secondary sources):

The tiny hamlet of Wounded Knee, the site at which more than two hundred Sioux and others were massacred in 1890, became a symbolic site again as members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupied the site during 1973. They quickly were confronted by armored troops and police.

The seventy-one-day occupation of Wounded Knee began on February 28, 1973. On March 11, 1973, AIM members declared their independence as the Oglala Sioux Nation, defining its boundaries according to the Treaty of Fort Laramie, signed in 1868. At one point, federal officials considered an armed attack on the camp, but the plan ultimately was discarded. Dennis Banks and Russell Means, AIM’s best-known leaders, stated that they would hold out until the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee had reviewed all broken treaties and the corruption of the BIA had been exposed to the world. After much gunfire and negotiation, AIM’s occupation of Wounded Knee ended on May 7, 1973.

Primary Sources

Note: For help with citing primary sources properly, check out this FAQ and be sure to reach out to your instructor with any questions you may have. For help citing interviews like the Tribal Policeman's Observations of Pine Ridge Reservation (below), click here

This primary source provides a firsthand account of Owen Luck, a photojournalist who was present at the occupation of Wounded Knee. He details the event in a visceral and impactful way, describing his engagement with the Lakota people and his experience throughout the event. Click on the link above to access the document. 

The following article is an interview with Delbert Eastman, the Bureau of Indian Affairs police chief at the time of the occupation. It provides a detailed account of the various players in the event and gives a local take on the seige. 

Below is the image of a flyer used to rally protesters to the cause of taking back Wounded Knee. 

Secondary Sources

This article details the events that occurred at Wounded Knee in 1973 based on a large collection of FBI documents released after the event, which provide ample information on the complex motives of all the groups involved. 

Using the voices of people involved in the incident, Ortiz guides readers through the siege at Wounded Knee, bringing to life the Native experience while detailing the event from an outsider's perspective. 

Optional Database