SITTING BULL

The Hunkpapa Sioux Indian chief and medicine man

Sitting Bull was respected by the Plains Indians for

his courage and wisdom and feared by settlers and

the United States Army for his determination to rid

Indian tribal lands of white people. Under him the

Sioux tribes united in their struggle for survival

on the Great Plains.

Sitting Bull was born in about 1831 near Grand River

in the Dakota Territory. The Hunkpapa Sioux were a

nomadic and warlike tribe, and Sitting Bull had his

first skirmish with white soldiers in June 1863. For

the next five years he frequently fought the Army.

He was made principal chief of the Sioux nation in

about 1867. When gold was discovered in the Black

Hills in the mid-1870s, a rush of prospectors

invaded the Indian lands.

In late 1875 all Sioux were ordered to move to

reservations. Sitting Bull refused to go, and the

Army was mobilized to remove him and his people.

Sitting Bull summoned the Sioux, Cheyenne, and

certain Arapaho to his camp in the Little Bighorn

River valley. He foretold that soldiers would fall

into his camp like grasshoppers from the sky. His

prophecy was fulfilled on June 25, 1876, when Lieut.

Col. George Armstrong Custer and his soldiers rode

into the valley and were annihilated.

Sitting Bull led his people to Canada, where they

depended on the buffalo for their livelihood. When

there were no more buffalo to hunt, they were forced

to surrender in 1881. In 1885 he was allowed to join

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Sitting Bull was

killed on Dec. 15, 1890, on the Grand River in South

Dakota as his warriors were trying to prevent his

arrest.