Post by Diane Merkel on Aug 12, 2017 9:21:40 GMT -5
Emily Levine, the editor of this memoir by Josephine Waggoner, is a frequent contributor to our sister board, amertribes.proboards.com. Josephine grew up on the Standing Rock Reservation and lived there most of her life. This book is a collection of stories about her life on the reservation.
What is most striking about Waggoner’s writing is the fact she lived through and experienced first-hand what she writes about, including the final bringing onto reservations of the Indian people – what she calls The Surrender; with her mother she went to be with Sitting Bull’s band on the Powder River in 1875; she heard the reports of the battle at the Little Big Horn in 1876 before word of the battle reached Bismarck and Fort Lincoln; she knew her grandmother fled with Sitting Bull to Canada to return in 1881; she knew Sitting Bull, and she wrote letters and interpreted for him; she knew what went on when Sitting Bull was killed in 1890 and she knew people who were with him and who were in the Indian Police; she knew about the Ghost Dance and its promise of a new Messiah; she knew about the Wounded Knee massacre and many of the people killed or wounded on both sides; she knew first hand of the reservation system of distributing food to the various bands and sub-bands; she knew many of the chiefs, and she knew of the tribes which made up the Sioux nation; she knew the teller of the old stories.
This thread has been titled "Witness: A Hunkpapha's Strong-Heart Son of the Lakotas" but the actual title of Waggoner's book, edited by Levine, is "Witness: A Hunkpapha Historian's Strong-Heart Song of the Lakotas" It is a superb work.