Native American testimonies from the book "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee"

Anhanguera

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It is excellent that these testimonies have been recorded, otherwise we would have had only the invaders' perspective. As a child, I recall Native Americans never playing the "good guys" only the "bad boys". And yet their land was taken from them and they were brutally mistreated and pushed towards near extinction.

According to brand new genetic studies, Native Americans are basically the product of a single migration from Northeast Asia, they had been living in the Americas for 10000 years. Suddenly, their lands were violently taken from them, and they were pushed to the bottom of the societies which were created. Very sad fate. As someone from the American continent, I often get myself thinking about it.

In the US excellent documentaries of the Native Americas, such as "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee", have been produced. That's why I chose to open this thread with testimonies of the Natives from there. The US is certainly not the only to blame. It happened basically in nearly all the rest of the Western Hemisphere. In Brazil, early on at the beginning of the colonisation, those who did not accept foreign rule were attached to a cannon and blown up. Those who did became basically enslaved.

This is what happened to Botocudos, who went nearly extinct:

At the end of the 19th century many Botocudo tribes still existed, numbering between 13,000 and 14,000 individuals. During the earlier frontier wars of 1790-1820, every effort was made to destroy them. Smallpox was deliberately spread among them; poisoned food was scattered in the forests; by such infamous means, the coast districts about Rio Doce and Belmonte were cleared, and one Portuguese commander boasted that he had either slain with his own hands or ordered to be butchered many hundreds of them.

Paul Ehrenreich estimated their population at 5,000 in 1884. As of April 1939, only 68 Botocudo were alive in Eastern Brazil.

Quote:
The whites told only one side. Told it to please themselves. Told much that is not true. Only his own best deeds, only the worst deeds of the Indians, has the white man told.

Yellow Wolf of the Nez Percés

Quote:
We want no white men here. The Black Hills belong to me. If the whites try to take them, I will fight.

Tatanka Yotanka (Sitting Bull)

Quote:
I never want to leave this country; all my relatives are lying here in the ground, and when I fall to pieces I am going to fall to pieces here.

Shunkaha Napin (Wolf Necklace)

Quote:
This was did not spring up here in our land; this was was brought upon us by the children of the Great Father (the president of the US) who came to take our land from us without price, and who, in our land, do a great many evil things. The Great Father and his children are to blame for this trouble... It has been our wish to live here in our country peacebly, but the Great Father has filled it with soldiers who think only of our death.

Sinte-Galeshka (Spotted Tail) of the Brulé Sioux

Quote:
Whose voice was first sounded on this land? The voice of the red people who had but bows and arrows... What has been done in my country I did not want, did not ask for it; white people going through my country... When the white man comes in my country he leaves a trail of blood behind him... I have two mountains in that country - the Black Hills and the Big Horn Mountain. I want the Great Father to make no roads through them. I have told these things three times; now I have come here to tell them the fourth time.

Mahpiua Luta (Red Cloud) of the Oglala Sioux

Quote:
I am but one man. I am the voice of my people. Whatever their hearts are, that I talk. I want no more war. I want to be a man. You deny me the right of a white man. My skin is red; my heart is a white man's heart; but I am a Modoc. I am not afraid to die. I will not fall on the rocks. When I die, my enemies will be under me. Your soldiers began on me when I was asleep on Lost River. They drove us to these rocks, like a wounded deer...

Kintpuash (Captain Jack) of the Modocs

Quote:
Although this country was once wholly inhabited by Indians, the tribes, and many of them once powerful, who occupied the countries now constituting the states east of the Mississippi, have, one by one, been exterminated in their abortive attempts to stem the western march of civilization [...] today, by reason of the immense augmentation of the American population, and the extension of their settlements throughout the entire West, covering both slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the Indian races are more seriously threatened with a speedy extermination than ever before in the history of the country

Donehogawa (Ely Parker), the first Native Comissioner of Indian Affairs

Quote:
When I was young I walked all over this country, east and west, and saw no other people than the Apaches. After many summers I walked again and found another race of people had come to take it. How is it? Why is it that the Apaches wait to die - that they carry their lives on their fingernails? They roam over the hills and plains and want the heavens to fall on them. The Apaches were once a great nation; they are now but few, and because of this they want to die and so carry their lives on their fingernails.

Cochise of the Chiricahua Apaches

Quote:
We have been south and suffered a great deal down there. Many have died of diseases which we have no name for. Our hearts looked and longed for this country where we were born. Our hearts looked and longed for this country where we were born. There are only a few of us left, and we only wanted a little ground, where we could live. We left our lodges standing, and ran away in the night. The troops followed us. I rode out and told the troops we did not want to fight; we only wanted to go north, and if they would let us alone we would kill no one. The only reply we got was a volley. After that we had to fight our way, but we killed none who did not fire at us first. My brother, Dull Knife, took one-half of the band and surrendered near Fort Robinson... They gave up their guns, and then the whites killed them all

Ohcumgache (Little Wolf) of the Northern Cheyennes

Quote:
You have driven me from the East to this place, and I have been here two thousand years or more... My friends, if you took me away from this land it would be very hard for me. I wish to die in this land. I wish to be an old man here... I have not wished to give even a part of it to the Great Father. Though he were to give me a million dollars I would not give him this land... When people want to slaughter cattle they drive them along until they get them to a corral, and then they slaughter them. So it was with us... My children have been exterminated; my brother has been killed.

Standing Bear of the Poncas

Quote:
I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream... the nation's hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead

Black Elk

Quote:
Although wrongs have been done me I live in hopes. I have not got two hearts... Now we are together again to make peace. My shame is as big as the earth, although I will do what my friends advise me to do. I once thought that I was the only man that persevered to be friend of the white man, but since they have come and cleaned out our lodges, horses, and everything else, it is hard for me to believe white men any more

Motavato (Black Kettle) of the Southern Cheyennes

Quote:
The whites were always trying to make the Indians give up their life and live like white men - go to farming, work hard and do as they did - and the Indians did not know how to do that, and did not want to anyway... If the Indians had tried to make the whites live like them, the whites would have resisted, and it was the same way with many Indians

Wamditanka (Big Eagle) of the Santee Sioux

Quote:
Where are today the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the White Man, as snow before a summer sun. Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a struggle, give up our homes, our country bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is dear and sacred to us? I know you will cry with me, 'Never! Never!"

Tecumseh of the Shawnees

Quote:
When the prairie is on fire you see animals surrounded by the fire; you see them run and try to hide themselves so that they will not burn. That is the way we are here.

Najinyanupi

Quote:
The Great Father's (American President) young men are going to carry gold away from the hills. I expect they will fill a number of houses with it. In consideration of this I want my people to be provided for as long as they shall live.

Mato Noupa (Two Bears)

Quote:
We have sat and watched them pass here to get gold out and have said nothing... My friends, when I went to Washington I went your money-house and I had some young men with me, but none of them took any money out of that house while I was with them. At the same time, when your Great Father's people come into my country, they go into my money-house (the Black Hills) and take money out.

Mawatani Hanska (Long Mandan)

Quote:
My friends, for many years we have been in this country; we never go to the Great Father's country and bother him about anything. It is his people who come to our country and bother us, do many bad things and teach our people to be bad... this contry is mine, I was raised in it; my forefathers lived and died in it; and I wish to remain in it.

Kangi Wiyaka

Quote:
One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.

Tashunka Witko (Crazy Horse)

Quote:
Many of the men often abused the Indians and treated them unkindly. Perhaps they had excuse, but the Indians did not think so. Many of the whites always seemed to say by their manner when they saw an Indian, 'I am better than you', and the Indians did not like this. [...] Then some of the white men abused the Indian women in a certain way and disgraced them, and surely there was no excuse for that. All these things made many Indians dislike the whites

Big Eagle

Quote:
I have heard that you intend to settle us on a reservation near the mountains. I don't want to settle. I love to roam over the prairies. There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die. I have laid aside my lance, bow, and shield, and yet I feel safe in your presence. I have told you the truth. I have no little lies hid about me, but I don't know how it is with the commissioners. Are they as clear as I am? A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers; but when I go up the river I see camps of soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down my timber; they kill my buffallo; and when I see that, my heart feels like bursting; I feel sorry... Has the white man become a child that he should recklessly kill and not eat? When the red man slay the game, they do so that they may live and not starve.

Satanta, Chief of the Kiowas

Quote:
[...] there are things which you have said to me which I do not like. They are not sweet like sugar, but bitter like gourds. You have said that you wanted to put us upon a reservation, to build us house and make us medicine lodges. I do not want them. I was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures and where everything drew a free breath. I want to die there and not within walls. I know every stream and every wood between the Rio Grande and the Arkansas. I have hunted and lived over that country. I lived like my fathers before me, and, like them, I lived happily. [...] If the Texans had kept out of my country, there might have been peace. But that which you now say we must live on is too small. The Texans have taken away the places where the grass grew the thickest and the timber was the best. Had we kept that, we might have done the things you ask. But it is too late. The white man has the country which we loved, and we only wish to wander on the prairie until we die.

Parra-Wa-Samen (Ten Bears), of the Yamparika Comanches


Source: "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee":

Quote:
Bury my heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown's eloquent and meticulously document account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the series of battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them and their people demoralized and decimated. The book covers from the 1860s, when the US government removed the Navaho from their lands, to the final act in this horrendous period in the American history: the bloody massacre at Wounded Knee and its aftermath.

Quote:
Only occasionally was the voice of an Indian heard [...] Yet they are not all lost, those Indian voices of the past. A few authentic accounts of American western history were recorded by Indians either in pictographs or in translated English [...] Among the richest sources of first-person statements by Indians are the records of treaty councils and other formal meetings with civilian and military representatives of the United States government. Isaac Pitman's new stenographic system was coming into vogue during the second half of the nineteenth century, and when Indians spoke in council a recording clerk sat beside the official interpreter. [...] Although the Indians who lived through this doom period of their civilization have vanished from the earth, millions of their words are preserved in official record. Many of the more important council proceedings were published in government documents and reports
 
We still have 100% Indigenous groups of Native Americans in Brazil and they must be protected and preserved in their remnant territories, that's an important issue for the next election. Brazilians descendants of the ferocious Bandeirantes still have a very minor Amerindian contribution as an ancestral connection to the land.
 
It is excellent that these testimonies have been recorded, otherwise we would have had only the invaders' perspective. As a child, I recall Native Americans never playing the "good guys" only the "bad boys". And yet their land was taken from them and they were brutally mistreated and pushed towards near extinction.

According to brand new genetic studies, Native Americans are basically the product of a single migration from Northeast Asia, they had been living in the Americas for 10000 years. Suddenly, their lands were violently taken from them, and they were pushed to the bottom of the societies which were created. Very sad fate. As someone from the American continent, I often get myself thinking about it.

In the US excellent documentaries of the Native Americas, such as "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee", have been produced. That's why I chose to open this thread with testimonies of the Natives from there. The US is certainly not the only to blame. It happened basically in nearly all the rest of the Western Hemisphere. In Brazil, early on at the beginning of the colonisation, those who did not accept foreign rule were attached to a cannon and blown up. Those who did became basically enslaved.

This is what happened to Botocudos, who went nearly extinct:



Paul Ehrenreich estimated their population at 5,000 in 1884. As of April 1939, only 68 Botocudo were alive in Eastern Brazil.

Quote:

The whites told only one side. Told it to please themselves. Told much that is not true. Only his own best deeds, only the worst deeds of the Indians, has the white man told.

Yellow Wolf of the Nez Percés

Quote:


We want no white men here. The Black Hills belong to me. If the whites try to take them, I will fight.

Tatanka Yotanka (Sitting Bull)

Quote:


I never want to leave this country; all my relatives are lying here in the ground, and when I fall to pieces I am going to fall to pieces here.

Shunkaha Napin (Wolf Necklace)

Quote:


This was did not spring up here in our land; this was was brought upon us by the children of the Great Father (the president of the US) who came to take our land from us without price, and who, in our land, do a great many evil things. The Great Father and his children are to blame for this trouble... It has been our wish to live here in our country peacebly, but the Great Father has filled it with soldiers who think only of our death.

Sinte-Galeshka (Spotted Tail) of the Brulé Sioux

Quote:


Whose voice was first sounded on this land? The voice of the red people who had but bows and arrows... What has been done in my country I did not want, did not ask for it; white people going through my country... When the white man comes in my country he leaves a trail of blood behind him... I have two mountains in that country - the Black Hills and the Big Horn Mountain. I want the Great Father to make no roads through them. I have told these things three times; now I have come here to tell them the fourth time.

Mahpiua Luta (Red Cloud) of the Oglala Sioux

Quote:


I am but one man. I am the voice of my people. Whatever their hearts are, that I talk. I want no more war. I want to be a man. You deny me the right of a white man. My skin is red; my heart is a white man's heart; but I am a Modoc. I am not afraid to die. I will not fall on the rocks. When I die, my enemies will be under me. Your soldiers began on me when I was asleep on Lost River. They drove us to these rocks, like a wounded deer...

Kintpuash (Captain Jack) of the Modocs

Quote:


Although this country was once wholly inhabited by Indians, the tribes, and many of them once powerful, who occupied the countries now constituting the states east of the Mississippi, have, one by one, been exterminated in their abortive attempts to stem the western march of civilization [...] today, by reason of the immense augmentation of the American population, and the extension of their settlements throughout the entire West, covering both slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the Indian races are more seriously threatened with a speedy extermination than ever before in the history of the country

Donehogawa (Ely Parker), the first Native Comissioner of Indian Affairs

Quote:


When I was young I walked all over this country, east and west, and saw no other people than the Apaches. After many summers I walked again and found another race of people had come to take it. How is it? Why is it that the Apaches wait to die - that they carry their lives on their fingernails? They roam over the hills and plains and want the heavens to fall on them. The Apaches were once a great nation; they are now but few, and because of this they want to die and so carry their lives on their fingernails.

Cochise of the Chiricahua Apaches

Quote:


We have been south and suffered a great deal down there. Many have died of diseases which we have no name for. Our hearts looked and longed for this country where we were born. Our hearts looked and longed for this country where we were born. There are only a few of us left, and we only wanted a little ground, where we could live. We left our lodges standing, and ran away in the night. The troops followed us. I rode out and told the troops we did not want to fight; we only wanted to go north, and if they would let us alone we would kill no one. The only reply we got was a volley. After that we had to fight our way, but we killed none who did not fire at us first. My brother, Dull Knife, took one-half of the band and surrendered near Fort Robinson... They gave up their guns, and then the whites killed them all

Ohcumgache (Little Wolf) of the Northern Cheyennes

Quote:


You have driven me from the East to this place, and I have been here two thousand years or more... My friends, if you took me away from this land it would be very hard for me. I wish to die in this land. I wish to be an old man here... I have not wished to give even a part of it to the Great Father. Though he were to give me a million dollars I would not give him this land... When people want to slaughter cattle they drive them along until they get them to a corral, and then they slaughter them. So it was with us... My children have been exterminated; my brother has been killed.

Standing Bear of the Poncas

Quote:


I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream... the nation's hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead

Black Elk

Quote:


Although wrongs have been done me I live in hopes. I have not got two hearts... Now we are together again to make peace. My shame is as big as the earth, although I will do what my friends advise me to do. I once thought that I was the only man that persevered to be friend of the white man, but since they have come and cleaned out our lodges, horses, and everything else, it is hard for me to believe white men any more

Motavato (Black Kettle) of the Southern Cheyennes

Quote:


The whites were always trying to make the Indians give up their life and live like white men - go to farming, work hard and do as they did - and the Indians did not know how to do that, and did not want to anyway... If the Indians had tried to make the whites live like them, the whites would have resisted, and it was the same way with many Indians

Wamditanka (Big Eagle) of the Santee Sioux

Quote:


Where are today the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the White Man, as snow before a summer sun. Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a struggle, give up our homes, our country bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is dear and sacred to us? I know you will cry with me, 'Never! Never!"

Tecumseh of the Shawnees

Quote:


When the prairie is on fire you see animals surrounded by the fire; you see them run and try to hide themselves so that they will not burn. That is the way we are here.

Najinyanupi

Quote:


The Great Father's (American President) young men are going to carry gold away from the hills. I expect they will fill a number of houses with it. In consideration of this I want my people to be provided for as long as they shall live.

Mato Noupa (Two Bears)

Quote:


We have sat and watched them pass here to get gold out and have said nothing... My friends, when I went to Washington I went your money-house and I had some young men with me, but none of them took any money out of that house while I was with them. At the same time, when your Great Father's people come into my country, they go into my money-house (the Black Hills) and take money out.

Mawatani Hanska (Long Mandan)

Quote:


My friends, for many years we have been in this country; we never go to the Great Father's country and bother him about anything. It is his people who come to our country and bother us, do many bad things and teach our people to be bad... this contry is mine, I was raised in it; my forefathers lived and died in it; and I wish to remain in it.

Kangi Wiyaka

Quote:


One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.

Tashunka Witko (Crazy Horse)
I was just about to read it. I will definitely pay attention to this fact. Now I used the nursing essay writing service, I found https://essays.edubirdie.com/nursing-essay-writing-service for this. I will have a lot of free time to analyze this book. I will definitely write my opinion here later.
Quote:

Many of the men often abused the Indians and treated them unkindly. Perhaps they had excuse, but the Indians did not think so. Many of the whites always seemed to say by their manner when they saw an Indian, 'I am better than you', and the Indians did not like this. [...] Then some of the white men abused the Indian women in a certain way and disgraced them, and surely there was no excuse for that. All these things made many Indians dislike the whites

Big Eagle

Quote:


I have heard that you intend to settle us on a reservation near the mountains. I don't want to settle. I love to roam over the prairies. There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die. I have laid aside my lance, bow, and shield, and yet I feel safe in your presence. I have told you the truth. I have no little lies hid about me, but I don't know how it is with the commissioners. Are they as clear as I am? A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers; but when I go up the river I see camps of soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down my timber; they kill my buffallo; and when I see that, my heart feels like bursting; I feel sorry... Has the white man become a child that he should recklessly kill and not eat? When the red man slay the game, they do so that they may live and not starve.

Satanta, Chief of the Kiowas

Quote:


[...] there are things which you have said to me which I do not like. They are not sweet like sugar, but bitter like gourds. You have said that you wanted to put us upon a reservation, to build us house and make us medicine lodges. I do not want them. I was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures and where everything drew a free breath. I want to die there and not within walls. I know every stream and every wood between the Rio Grande and the Arkansas. I have hunted and lived over that country. I lived like my fathers before me, and, like them, I lived happily. [...] If the Texans had kept out of my country, there might have been peace. But that which you now say we must live on is too small. The Texans have taken away the places where the grass grew the thickest and the timber was the best. Had we kept that, we might have done the things you ask. But it is too late. The white man has the country which we loved, and we only wish to wander on the prairie until we die.

Parra-Wa-Samen (Ten Bears), of the Yamparika Comanches


Source: "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee":

Quote:


Bury my heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown's eloquent and meticulously document account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the series of battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them and their people demoralized and decimated. The book covers from the 1860s, when the US government removed the Navaho from their lands, to the final act in this horrendous period in the American history: the bloody massacre at Wounded Knee and its aftermath.

Quote:

Only occasionally was the voice of an Indian heard [...] Yet they are not all lost, those Indian voices of the past. A few authentic accounts of American western history were recorded by Indians either in pictographs or in translated English [...] Among the richest sources of first-person statements by Indians are the records of treaty councils and other formal meetings with civilian and military representatives of the United States government. Isaac Pitman's new stenographic system was coming into vogue during the second half of the nineteenth century, and when Indians spoke in council a recording clerk sat beside the official interpreter. [...] Although the Indians who lived through this doom period of their civilization have vanished from the earth, millions of their words are preserved in official record. Many of the more important council proceedings were published in government documents and reports
interesting:unsure:
 

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