Wounded Knee Film Analysis

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The movie shows several important scenes from history that would impact the not just the Sioux Indians but the Native population across the United States this included the Battle of Little Big Horn, the Passage of the Dawes Act, and the massacre of Wounded Knee. Prior to these battles the US since its inception had a fraught history with the native population constantly betraying the treaties which it made with the native population. In 1824, the Bureau of Indian Affairs creation occurred within the War Department a precursor to the current Department of defense. In 1831, Cherokee Nation v Georgia Supreme Court ruling decided that the Indian tribes are domestic dependent nations, not foreign nations. Although not impacting the Sioux at the…show more content…
In 1849, the Department of the Interior was created and resulting movement of the Indian Affairs was moved to the Department. In 1869, President S Grant appoints the first Indian to fill the post of the head of Bureau of Indian Affairs General Ely S Parker. In 1871, congress passed laws banning treaties with the Native American tribes. 30 years after the Wounded Knee Massacre congress conferred citizenship to the Indians, however, it was not till 1968 that congress gave constitutional protection to natives against their tribal governments. The US government eventually would compensate the Sioux Indians in 1979 122.5 million dollars for the illegal taking of the Sioux land in the Black Hills. The native population as the treatment of the movie is fraught with internal disagreements which splintered much of the group. As shown by the treatment of Charles Eastman when he comes back from being educated in the white way, those that grew up outside the Sioux lands become aliens to the tribe. Internally the battle of Sitting Bull with the young people of the tribe reflected the violence of the want to follow new ways and the hope of the elders to sustain the old ways of their…show more content…
The victory at Little Big Horn turned out to be the eventual downfall of the Sioux nation with the eventual pressing of the American government and the discovery of gold in the Black Hills to be a major downfall. As the Sioux continues to define its existence, the American government can never repay the harmful destruction that the ideas manifest destiny, the hypocritical egalitarian policies while practicing subjection, and the utter destruction of an entire culture. As Charles Eastman states to Senator Dawes in the climax of the argument prior to the massacre of Wounded Knee Creek in regards to the Sioux “Must they adapt, sir, to the point of their own extermination?” As the Sioux fight on the tragic state of the treatment of the Sioux continues to pay a heavy price for the one victory long
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