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    Deseret News archives: What are the lessons, legacy of the siege at Wounded Knee?

    By Chris Miller,

    This undated file photo shows the historical marker commemorating the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 on the road near the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wounded Knee, S.D. | Anonymous

    A look back at local, national and world events through Deseret News archives.

    On May 8, 1973, militant Native Americans who had held the South Dakota community of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks peacefully surrendered.

    “Militant Indians in Wounded Knee lay down their arms today, signaling an end to the 70-day occupation of the historic South Dakota hamlet,” reported the front page of the Deseret News on that day.

    The May 9 front page:

    But the narrative began in the late 19th century.

    In late December 1890, the U.S. Army 7th Cavalry got into a skirmish with a group of Plains Native Americans, the incident escalated and the 7th Cavalry “decimated the Indian village of Wounded Knee. Some 300 Indians — mostly women and children — as well as 31 soldiers were killed.

    “... It was the last armed conflict into the 30-year effort by the Army to subdue the Plains Indians,” historical accounts relate.

    Then in 1973, a group of approximately 200 Oglala Lakota seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. The group chose the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre site for symbolic value, and the 70-day standoff attracted widespread attention.

    A major reason for the confrontation was the group’s protest of what “they called corrupt management of Indian affairs on the reservation by the federal government and the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” the Deseret News article of the day reported.

    Some remember the nonfiction book “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West,” by Dee Brown. The 1970 bestseller offered a realistic and well-researched account of Native Americans in the West in the 19th century.

    Here are some of the Deseret News stories related to a difficult time in U.S. history, from myriad perspectives:

    Utahn joins spiritual journey to Wounded Knee

    Tense FBI, AIM exchange during Wounded Knee talk

    Sioux gather at Wounded Knee to mark centennial of massacre

    Widow of civil rights activist wants him home

    ‘Wounded Knee’ author Dee Brown dies

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