Subversive Historian – 12/15/08

The Assassination of Chief Sitting Bull

One-hundred and eighteen years ago on this day in people’s history, Chief Sitting Bull was murdered by Lakota police. On December 15th, 1890, the symbol of enduring Native American resistance was shot in the head following an attempted arrest. After a long life of rebellion, the elder Lakota Sioux leader was ordered detained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as they were fearful that he would lend his influence to the burgeoning Ghost Dance movement. Throughout his life, Chief Sitting Bull had been involved in a number of campaigns to defend his people’s land against white settler encroachment including the historic Battle of the Little Big Horn. The very same year of Sitting Bull’s death, the Ghost Dance was gaining popularity as a religious vision that promised a restoration of native land.

The murder of Chief Sitting Bull most certainly prevented the reverential Lakota Sioux leader from joining the movement, but it could not kill his legacy


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