Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Wounded Knee descendants group plans ceremony for artifacts

UPDATE: The Wounded Knee descendants group has decided not to burn artifacts stolen from mass graves of Wounded Knee massacre victims after officials from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe requested that they not burn those artifacts.

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Last November, more than 150 items stolen from mass graves of Wounded Knee massacre victims were returned to a group of descendants, the Si’Tanka Ta’ Oyate O’mniceye (Descendants of the Si’ Tanka Nation). Now, a year later, the group plans to burn the artifacts to mark the end of the one-year traditional bereavement period called wasigla.

In 1890, more than 300 Lakota men, women and children were killed by the United States military. The military had been sent to Pine Ridge to stop a potential “Indian uprising.” Instead, they encountered a band of Mniconju Lakota led by Chief Spotted Elk (nicknamed Big Foot by the military). The military misinterpreted the group’s ghost dance songs as an intent to attack and opened fire on the band. Now 133 years later, the descendants of those who survived the massacre are working to preserve the memory of what happened that day.


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