Ride honors memory of Wounded Knee victims, survivors

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Horseback riders and support people and vehicles arrived via the old lake crossing just before sunset on Saturday, December 15 on the way to Wounded Knee. Photo by Robert Slocum

On the evening of Saturday, December 15, 33 riders and one runner entered Timber Lake to join a large support crew and make camp for the night at the community center. They were on the second day of the 32nd annual Chief Big Foot Band Memorial Ride. On that day 128 years ago, Chief Sitting Bull was killed by Indian police and the U.S. military when they attempted to arrest him at his camp on the Grand River west of Little Eagle, for his role in the Ghost Dance movement. Many of his followers joined Chief Spotted Elk’s band (Chief Big Foot) and together they fled toward the Pine Ridge reservation.

On the morning of December 29, 1890, the U.S. military surrounded their encampment at Wounded Knee Creek with the intent to disarm the group. A shot was fired which precipitated a massacre. By some estimates, over 300 mostly unarmed, men, women and children were killed that day.

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