Wounded Knee Massacre Essay

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The Wounded Knee Massacre: Hollywood Fiction or Historical Fact? The United States government initially celebrated the Battle at Wounded Knee as the final conflict between Native Americans and the United States military - after which the western frontier was considered safe for the incoming settlers. Over 20 medals were awarded to the soldiers for their valor on the battlefield. However, the understanding has changed regarding what actually took place at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890. The Hollywood version of the Battle of Wounded Knee accurately presents the case that the Battle at Wounded Knee was actually a massacre of the Sioux - the culminating act of betrayal and aggression carried out by the United States military,…show more content…
Grua details how, although this massacre was initially "heralded as the final victory in the 400 year 'race war ' between civilization and savagery," it now is "an internationally-recognized symbol representing past massacres and genocide, as well as indigenous demands for recognition and sovereignty." Grub gives examples of how the survivors of this massacre found ways to record their eye-witness accounts, challenge the army 's "official memory," and persistently seek compensation from the government for the losses suffered by the Lakota people on this tragic day. The written documentation provides unchanging evidence of the injustices suffered by the victims of the Wounded Knee massacre. Oral history, kept alive by survivors ' descendants, has also preserved the stories of that terrible day. Wounded Knee has gained symbolic power "in hopes that such remembrance will lead to the eradication of violence, massacre, and…show more content…
"On September 25, 1990, hearings were conducted in the United States Senate by the Select Committee on Indian Affairs regarding the historical circumstances surrounding the Wounded Knee Massacre" (United States). As a result, Senate Congressional Resolution 153 (1989-1990) was passed. The following are excerpts from that resolution: "Whereas the Sioux people who are descendants of the victims and survivors of the Wounded Knee Massacre have been striving to reconcile and, in a culturally appropriate manner, to bring to an end their 100 years of grieving for the tragedy of December 29, 1890 ... which brought to a close an era in the history of this country ... characterized by an official government policy of forcibly removing the Indian tribes and bands from the path of westward expansion and settlement through placement on reservations.... Now therefore be it resolved by the Senate, that, 1) the Congress, on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre of December 29, 1890, hereby acknowledges the historical significance of this event as the last armed conflict of the Indian wars period resulting in the tragic death and injury of approximately 350-375 Indian men, women, and children of Chief Big Foot 's band of Minneconjou Sioux and hereby expresses its deep regret on behalf of the United States to the descendants of the victims

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