Sitting Bull Exile to Canada

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Sitting Bull Exile to Canada

Many things influenced Sitting Bull's decision to cross the border into Canada. After Custer's defeat at Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull had to live life in fear. He fought on the defensive for years. Sitting Bull and his followers fled from the onslaught of American howitzers. He then was able to find sanctuary in the White Grandmother's Country, north of the international boundary. "Most of the band drifted back in the next few years; Sitting Bull himself was to return in 1881 to end his exile" (Andrist 298)). They faced unknown obstacles, and challenges, all for a chance to live the way they wanted to. When times were bad they looked to the Canadians for assistance. When they could not help Sitting Bull struggle ended and asylum. Canada was no longer an option for Sitting Bulls starving people.

For Sitting Bull and his people "the winter of 1876-77 was a winter of despair. "Soldiers occupied the hunting grounds and kept the war going even when the snow fell and the temperature plunged"(Utley 174). Sitting Bulls options for the survival his people were being held in the hands of the soldiers surrounding his winter encampment. Who could at any time " burst into their village, shoot down the people, and destroy their homes and food supplies"(Utley 174).

Sitting Bull disliked the alternative of an unconditional surrender, which was out of the question. This surrender would have cost Sitting Bull and his people their guns, and horses. This was unreasonable for people who relied on these valuable tools in almost every aspect in their lives.

In April of 1877 the Miniconjoous, Sans Arcs, Hunkpaps, and others of equal prominence conviened a council at Beaver Creek. Spotted Eagle and Sitting Bull would make speeches advocating continuing the war against the white man. They would eventually realize them necessity to act in the best interest of the people. Sitting Bull stood firm in his way of life, as a hunter.

Around this time Crazy Horse made his decision to surrender. On May 6, Crazy horse surrendered at the Red Cloud agency in Robinson Nebraska. The group which consisted of 889 people, surrendered "12,00 ponies and 117 arms"(Utley182).

Sitting Bull faced new uncertainty in Canada. He had traveled to this country before "following Buffalo or seeking Slotas to trade with" (Utley184). He also knew from experience the contrast between the Grandmother (Canada) and the Great Father of the United States.

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