October 17, 2007

Bellecourt:  hero or villain?

Bellecourt leaves behind dual legacyBack when traditional and more progressive members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe went to war in the 1970s, Roslyn Jumping Bull and other tribal members called upon AIM for help.

Bellecourt came.

Like Wyatt Earp come to Tombstone, he and the rest of AIM brought hell's fury with them.

In their trail, they left smoldering ruins in Wounded Knee, two dead FBI agents and lingering hatred among the Oglala Sioux that remains to this day.

They also left pride.

My grandmother tells of young Native men--who long had worn their hair close-cropped after learning in the government boarding schools to fear any display of culture--starting to grow their hair long again for the first time in many years.

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