About the Pine Ridge Reservation
The Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota, home of the Oglala band of Lakota Sioux, initially contained over 60,000,000 acres as part of the Great Sioux Reservation that was established by the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1868. The reservation has been significantly reduced in size as the U.S. government illegally opened the land to homesteading in 1876, gold mining in the Black Hills during the Gold Rush(~1876), and in response to the Dawes Act (1889) which broke up the Great Sioux Reservation into 5 smaller reservations–the Pine Ridge Reservation is one of these. Today the reservation occupies ~2,800,000 acres (11,000 square miles-the size of Connecticut).
Treaty violations and the government's pursuit of tribal land once economically viable natural resources were discovered led to the battle at Wounded Knee in 1890, the American Indian Movement's (AIM) armed occupation of Wounded Knee, government enforced militarism on the reservation, and the conviction of Leonard Peltier for the murder of two FBI agents (Matthiessen, 1991 ).
Wounded KneeResources about the 1890 battle at Wounded Knee
- The Wounded Knee Massacre (more info) This website details the sequence of events leading up to the massacre of 1890, and an account of the battle based on both historic record and eyewitness accounts.
- Lakota Accounts of the Massacre at Wounded Knee (more info) This website provides the personal accounts, in direct quotation, of the Lakota Sioux involved in the massacre at Wounded Knee.
Leonard PeltierResources about political prisoner Leonard Peltier
- The Case of Leonard Peltier (more info) This site is dedicated to raising awareness and ultimately freeing political prisoner, Leonard Peltier.
- Demand Clemency for Leonard Peltier (more info) This page contains an online petition for the clemency of Leonard Peltier.
- Matthiessen, 1991 This book documents the Supreme Court case of Leonard Peltier.
Suggested ReadingFuture reading pertaining to Pine Ridge Reservation
- Frazier, 2000 This book documents Ian Frazier's personal experience while visiting the Pine Ridge Reservation.