The story of the Lakota Sioux's loss of their spiritual homelands and their remarkable legal battle to regain it
The Lakota Indians counted among their number some of the most famous Native Americans, including Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. Their homeland was in the magnificent Black Hills in South Dakota, where they found plentiful game and held religious ceremonies at charged locations like Devil's Tower. Bullied by settlers and the U. S. Army, they refused to relinquish the land without a fight, most famously bringing down Custer at Little Bighorn. In 1873, though, on the brink of starvation, the Lakotas surrendered the Hills.
But the story does not end there. Over the next hundred years, the Lakotas waged a remarkable campaign to recover the Black Hills, this time using the weapons of the law. In The Lakotas and the Black Hills, the latest addition to the Penguin Library of American Indian History, Jeffrey Ostler moves with ease from battlefields to reservations to the Supreme Court, capturing the enduring spiritual strength that bore the Lakotas through the worst times and kept alive the dream of reclaiming their cherished homeland.
About the author
Jeffrey Ostler is the Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History at the University of Oregon. He is a specialist in the history of the American West, with a heavy focus on the history of American Indians. Ostler is the author of The Lakotas and the Black Hills: The Struggle for Sacred Ground, The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee, Prairie Populism: The Fate of Agrarian Radicalism in Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa, and more.
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