133 years ago this morning, a young Lakota man’s hunting rifle accidentally discharged into the sky on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota while 3 soldiers from the US Army attempted to steal it from him.
The military thought it was being attacked, which led to one of the largest slaughters of Native Americans in history.
Around 250 Indian men, women, and children were shot to death on that cold morning.
This was just one incident in the long and bloody campaign to take away land without just compensation.
So given this history, you’d think the least we could do would be to make it easier for Native Americans to vote, but instead it’s gotten harder, particularly since the surge in voter suppression legislation enacted since the “Big Lie” about the so-called stolen election of 2020.
Indigenous people are disproportionately affected, and for many, still do not have a voice in their future.
Note: My dad took this picture of Ben Black Elk in 1963 at the base of Mt. Rushmore. Black Elk's father survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876 and was a first cousin to Crazy Horse.