Life of Sitting Bull and History of the Indian War of 1890-91

by W. Fletcher Johnson


Sitting Bull (1831 – 1890) was a Hunkpapa Lakota leader who fought tirelessly against the United States’ genocidal policies. During an attempt to arrest him, he was killed on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation during an attempt to arrest him. Sitting Bull (Lakota: Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake) became a target of the US government after his success at the Battle of Little Bighorn, where the confederated Lakota tribes and the Northern Cheyenne annihilated defeated the 7th Cavalry under Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer on June 25, 1876. Aghast, the United States sent thousands of troops to the area, but Sitting Bull refused to surrender. He led his community into present day Saskatchewan, and remained there, until 1881 when they returned to the United States and were eventually transferred to Fort Randall as prisoners of war.

In 1885 he started working with Buffalo Bill in the Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, after Agent James McLaughlin agreed to the terms of the show by promoter, Alvaren Allen. Afterwards, Sitting Bull returned to the Standing Rock Agency. Concerns over “the Ghost Dance Movement” created a lot of ire among the US government over fears of an Indigenous uprising. Fears that Sitting Bull, a powerful, well-known figure, would participate, led to 39 police officers coming to Sitting Bull’s door at 5:30am. Not surprisingly, a great deal of chaos ensued, leading to Sitting Bull being shot and killed.

This new edition is dedicated to Jacqueline Ottmann, President of the First Nations University of Canada.