Wounded Knee Massacre and Ghost Dance Religion

For many Americans, the words "Wounded Knee" convey a sense of shame for the massacre that occurred there on December 29, 1890. A controversial and still unresolved issue is who fired the first shot and why. This primary source portfolio looks at this and other questions through eyewitness accounts, newspaper articles, and official documents. It explores the origins of the Sioux, their migration to the Great Plains and the physical and spiritual impoverishment they faced in the late 1890s. The Sioux suffered for decades at the hands of the whites; treaties signed in good faith had been broken and the once-vast buffalo herds were now gone. Sioux homelands were reduced to a fraction of their original size, and many where on the brink of starvation. In their desperation, the Sioux sought relief and hope in the Ghost Dance religion, which promised a return of the buffalo and of a traditional way of life. Many believed they were invulnerable to bullets while wearing ceremonial Ghost Dance shirts. This portfolio includes a Study Guide with reproducible student activities and a timeline of events between 1680 and 1889. 4 Illustrated Broadsheet Essays: * The Sioux * The Ghost Dance Religion * The Massacre: Events and Accounts * Aftermath and Survivors 17 Primary Source Documents: * Maps illustrating progressive loss of Indian lands, 1780s to 1890s * Maps illustrating reduction in size of Great Sioux Reservation, 1868 and 1889 * Census drawings of heads of Sioux families, 1883 * Sioux artist's sketch of Ghost Dance ceremony, 1890 * 3 Letters: Agent Palmer to Commissioner Morgan, October 11, 1890 with transcript, Excerpt from Agent McLaughlin to Commissioner Morgan, October 17, 1890 with transcript, and Telegram from Agent Royer to Commissioner Morgan, November 15, 1890 with transcript * Newspaper accounts: Ghost Dance religion and Wounded Knee events * Arrest of Sitting Bull: telegram and sketch, December 15, 1890, and transcript * Rations list: distribute to Big Foot's band, December 29, 1890 * Sketch of Wounded Knee before the fighting * Diagrams of Army and Indian positions at Wounded Knee * Telegram: Agent Royer to Commissioner Morgan, December 29, 1890, and transcript * Medical records: Captain and Assistant Surgeon Ives' notes on wounded, and transcript * Poster: scenes and individuals connected with Wounded Knee * Excerpt from Alice War Bonnet's story, dictated to her son, 1939 * Army ballads and Sioux songs * Bill to Congress: proposed legislation to compensate the Sioux, 1975 * Senate Resolution commemorating the 100-year anniversary of Wounded Knee, 1990

Product type: Primary Source Portfolio
ISBN: 978-1-5669-6189-9
Author: Robert J. Stahl
Copyright: 2001
Reading Level: Grades 8-12+
Interest Level: Grades 8-12+
Dimensions: 13 3/4" x 9"