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Sitting Bull was a Teton Dakota Indian chief under whom the Sioux tribes united in their struggle for survival on the North American Great Plains.
Sitting Bull - No Compromise (0:49)
The U.S. government forced many native tribes to accept treaties and deals, but Lakota Chief Sitting Bull would not sell his people out for a few modern trinkets
The Lakota are peaceful people who celebrate and honor the importance of family life.
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To escape its wrath, Sitting Bull led his people into Canada, where they remained for four years.
The pay was more than good—$50 a week to ride once around the arena—but Sitting Bull quickly grew tired of the performances and life on the road. He was shocked by the poverty he saw in the cities, and coupled with the hatred that was directed toward him by some of the show's audience members, Sitting Bull decided to return to his people. "[I] would rather die an Indian than live a white man," he famously said.
Back home, in a cabin on the Grand River not far from where he'd been born, Sitting Bull lived his life without compromise. He rejected Christianity and continued to honor his people's way of life.
In 1889 Native Americans began to take up the Ghost Dance, a ceremony aimed at ridding the land of white people and restore the Native American way of life. Sitting Bull soon joined it.
Fearing the powerful chief's influence on the movement, authorities directed a group of Lakota police officers to arrest Sitting Bull. On December 15, 1890, they entered his home. After they dragged Sitting Bull out of his cabin, a gunfight followed and the chief was shot in the head and killed. He was laid to rest at Fort Yates in North Dakota. In 1953, his remains were moved to Mobridge, South Dakota, where they remain today.
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