The Lakota people of the Sioux Indians have a colorful and violent history. Around 1890, there was a massacre near Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota in Lakota territory, which was perpetrated onto the Lakota by members of the US Calvary. Almost one hundred years later, in 1973, the American Indian Movement took over the same town of Wounded Knee for 71 days, until the US Marshal Service succeeded in wresting control of the town back into the hands of the United States. To understand how this conflict arose, and why the Lakota acted this way, it must first be explained how and why the Lakota were so inclined to take over the area. The Lakota, like many Indian tribes in modern day America, were effectively contained within their own
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Back when the land was given to the Indians, the United States wished only to get the Indians out of the way and to lose as little as possible doing it. They relegated the worst land available to the Indians. All the land that was given was devoid of any arid soil, natural resources, or similar economic incentives. In short, the Indians, when put on the land, could do nothing to use them, and eventually slipped into poverty. Today, many Indians live off only what the government provides for them as welfare.
The Indians of the Lakota settlement of Pine Ridge were one of these groups. They lived in extreme poverty, and their head chairman of their ruling body was Richard ‘Dick’ Wilson, who, before the election, gave a good showing of being all for the rights of the members of the Indian reservation, and supported American Indian Movement’s protests, and attempted to garner the support of everyone, conservatives and progressives. He won the close election, and was elected chairman. After his election, he proceeded to mainly make a mess of things, and treat Pine Ridge as though he were dictator. He enacted his own policies, and attempted to have other members of the council removed from it. He often met with only the smaller 5 person executive council, avoiding meeting with the full