December 29, 2011

The Wounded Knee Museum

A Look at the Wounded Knee MuseumThere’s no better way to remember the massacre at Wounded Knee then to pay a visit, either in person or online, to Wounded Knee, the Museum. The museum tells the story of a small band of Lakota families through various mediums.

At the museum, which is located on Interstate 90, north side of Exit 110 in Wall, South Dakota, the story of these Lakota families who became the focus of the last major military operation of the U.S. Army in its centuries-long effort to subdue American Indian tribes, vivid exhibits and photographs help bring the visitor back to the scene of the hideous murders of December 29, 1890. It is one thing to understand and reflect on the knowledge that 300 Lakota men, women, and children died that day by the barrels of rifles and Hotchkiss guns, quite another to experiencing it at the museum.

“Wounded Knee, The Museum, serves as a memorial to those slaughtered at Wounded Knee Creek, December 28, 1890,” their website states. “The Museum’s primary mission is to provide and advance knowledge about our shared history, and to assist in preserving the memory of the victims by encouraging visitors to learn and reflect on the events surrounding the massacre of the Lakota.”
Tim Giago reminds us what happened 121 years ago in December 29, 'A Day That Will Live in Infamy' for the Lakota. He notes one particular pop-culture connection that I've discussed before:Two weeks before the massacre after hearing of the death of Sitting Bull, a newspaperman named L. Frank Baum, the same man who wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz a few years later, editorialized in the Aberdeen (S.D.) Saturday Review, "Sitting Bull, most renowned Sioux of modern history, is dead. He was an Indian with a white man's spirit of hatred and revenge for those who wronged him and his. With this fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlers will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians."Comment:  For more on Wounded Knee, see Why Wounded Knee Matters and 25th Annual Ride to Wounded Knee.

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