Massacre at Wounded Knee (1890)

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The horrific event known as the Massacre at Wounded Knee took place on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota on December 29, 1890. The United States government’s pursuit of a group of Lakota Sioux who practiced the Ghost Dance movement was the culmination of a long period of growing tensions with the Lakota Sioux.

The American military’s attempt to disarm the Sioux led to a violent conflict. Around 150 Lakota people, including women and children, were killed when soldiers opened fire on the Sioux.

In addition to highlighting the repressive policies of the United States government toward indigenous peoples, the slaughter also signaled the end of armed Native American resistance on the Great Plains. The tragic results of cultural misunderstandings, broken treaties, and the use of military force to destroy native customs and traditions are vividly demonstrated, and the tragedy serves as a metaphor for the greater pattern of injustices endured by Native Americans. 

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