Here on Colorlines, we’re seeing a lot of great questions and answers around this topic, from community members both first-time and established. (Welcome, new folks!) So as always, this is just a few featured comments. Here’s what you had to say.
Longtime Colorlines.com community member urbanskin starts us off:
I am Hunkpapa Lakota and extremely proud of my Oyate Nation. From 1866-1868, Red Cloud’s war, we whipped the United States military all over the Northern plains which resulted in the first and only treaty, the Ft. Laramie treaty, the United States entered into that was written solely on the terms of the Nation they lost a military conflict to.
Ten years later we again wiped out the United States military at the Little Big Horn and the Battle of the Rosebud when the treaty was breached by miners, hungry for gold, who entered our lands. Eager to secure the gold and pull the United States out of a depression, President Grant issued its “sell or starve” policy for us to cede the Black Hills, which we refused. Buffalo hunters were sent in to slaughter our food supply, which they did, murdering tens of millions of buffalo. They followed the starvation campaign by allowing US citizens to sue us in courts for supposed depredations, bankrupting us (think Haiti a la France). This followed massacres like Wounded Knee and the legalized theft of our children via Indian Boarding schools. At the same time, our spirituality was made criminal.