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5.1.4 Red Cloud and Indians. Standing: Red Bear (Sons Are?), Young Man Afraid of his Horse, Good Voice, Ring Thunder, Iron Crow, White Tail, Young Spotted Tail; seated: Yellow Bear, Jack Red Cloud, Big Road, Little Wound, Black Crow

Handy, Levin C. (Levin Corbin) - Brady, Mathew
1877
Photograph
Library of Congress

Red Cloud and Indians. Standing: Red Bear Sons Are? , Young Man Afraid of his Horse, Good Voice, Ring Thunder, Iron Crow, White Tail, Young Spotted Tail; seated: Yellow Bear, Jack Red Cloud, Big Road, Little Wound, Black Crow., 1877. Photograph.

The Lakota (who live in modern-day Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas) organized themselves into groups of extended families that governed themselves. Lakota and other Sioux groups had local leaders who worked together to solve problems that affected their people and all the groups. Red Cloud was a strong warrior and leader of the Oglala Lakota. He led the people in the mid- and late 1800s. Like many other Native people, Red Cloud wanted to protect his people’s land and their way of life from outsiders. Red Cloud and other leaders represented their tribes when dealing with the US government. This image includes a group of Lakota leaders. How is this delegation of Lakota leaders an example of Lakota strength?

The Lakota’s traditional tribal homeland includes portions of modern-day North and South Dakota. According to Luther Standing Bear in Land of the Spotted Eagle, “The Lakotas were self-governors, and the rules and regulations that governed the conduct of people and established their duties as individuals, families, and bands came from a great tribal consciousness [a governing power].” While each person could make individual decisions, they “could not consider [themselves] as separate from the band or nation.” The Oglala was the largest group of the Lakota in the mid- and late 1800s. Red Cloud led the Oglala Lakota during the time of westward expansion in the United States. Americans built forts, spread diseases, caused conflict, and polluted waterways with animal waste as they traveled through Native lands. Red Cloud was a strong warrior and leader who, along with others, successfully fought against the US military and negotiated with the US government to secure land rights for the Lakota in the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868). Encourage students to consider how strong traditional leadership helped the groups in dealing with the US government.