Today is the anniversary of Wounded Knee I, that is, the 1890 massacre of Lakota Ghost Dancers by the 7th Cavalry on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. Wounded Knee II came at the same place, in 1973. The second event was an occupation of the site led by American Indian Movement (AIM) activists concerned to oust the corrupt tribal leadership of Pine Ridge and also call attention to larger issues of justice for Native Americans.
Two books that have recently come to my attention–and that I have read–might be of interest to some of you:
Richardson, Heather Cox. Wounded Knee: Party P0litics and the Road to an American Massacre. New York: Basic Books, 2010. Richardson is a political historian, and while she argues for more of direct connection than her evidence shows, she does make clear the assumptions made by white American leaders, political and military, that made the massacre possible, if not inevitable.
Magnuson, Stew. Wounded Knee 1973: Still Bleeding. The American Indian Movement, the FBI, and their Fight to Bury the Sins of the Past. Arlington, VA: Court Bridge Publishing, 2013. Magnuson, a journalist from Omaha but based now in Washington, DC, presents an account of a history conference at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD in 2012 in which various participants of Wounded Knee II spoke, reopening old wounds more than healing them. (I purchased my autographed copy of the book from the author at the South Dakota Book Festival this past September.)
For a concise reprise of the 1890 massacre, see Daryl Worthington’s account at NewHistorian: Wounded Knee.