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Sioux Surrender

2/26/2006:

In 1881, newcomers were pouring into Dakota by the trainload to set up homesteads on square parcels of prairie. At the same time, there were still some native people who could not let go of the freedom they had known to live, and hunt buffalo, and move about as they pleased.

By now, most Indians had acquiesced--seeing no alternative to accepting the new way of life that had been thrust upon them. The choices were to die fighting, starve to death, or give up. Their way of life, like the great buffalo herd, was gone.

125 years ago today, 325 Sioux people came in from Canada and surrendered at Ft. Buford. In the coming months, more would do the same, and finally, in July, their weary leader Sitting Bull would arrive with the last families, virtually ending three decades of Sioux resistance.

Sources:

Jerome A. Greene, Yellowstone Command: Colonel Nelson A. Miles and the Great Sioux War, 1876-1877 (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1991) 228.