Born near the Great River in present-day South Dakota and given the name Tatanka-Iyotake at birth, Chief Sitting Bull (1834–1890) was a member of the Sioux tribe and a revered visionary.
"When I was a boy, the Sioux owned the world. The sun rose and set on their land," said the born leader and holy man.
A skillful hunter, Sitting Bull increased Indian hunting grounds and resisted American encroachment. "It is not necessary for eagles to be crows," he believed. "What I am, I am."
The U.S. peace settlement with the Sioux was broken when gold was discovered and the Indians were ordered off their own reservation. The Sioux refused to leave. "God made me an Indian," Sitting Bull admitted, "but not a reservation Indian."
Along the Little Big Horn River in 1876, Sitting Bull (with Crazy Horse) led his tribe to victory over Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his soldiers.
"Is it wrong for me to love my own? Is it wicked for me because my skin is red? Because I am Sioux? Because I was born where my father lived? Because I would die for my people and my country?" asked Sitting Bull, who advised his people to never give up their land.
As the fighting continued, the warrior fled to Canada. He returned when promised a pardon, then traveled with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. "The earth has received the embrace of the sun and we shall see the results of that love," he said.
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