We Are Still Here: American Indians in the Twentieth Century

By Peter Iverson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
“We Indians Will Be Indians All Our Lives,” 1890–1920

On the day after the massacre the blizzard came. Two days later the weather cleared and the young Dakota physician assumed charge of the 100 people, most of them Indians, who ventured forth to seek the living and the dead. He never forgot that scene:

Fully three miles from the scene of the massacre, we found the body of a
woman completely covered with a blanket of snow, and from this point
on we found them scattered along as they had been relentlessly hunted
down and slaughtered while fleeing for their lives. Some of our people
discovered relatives or friends among the dead, and there was much wail-
ing and mourning. When we reached the spot where the Indian camp had
stood, among the fragments of burned tents and other belongings we
saw the frozen bodies lying close together or piled upon one another. I
counted eighty bodies of men who had been in the council and who were
almost as helpless as the women and babies when the deadly fire began,
for nearly all their guns had been taken from them.

The doctor was Ohiyesa, or, as he was called as a student at Dartmouth College and the Boston University medical school, Charles Eastman. Eastman had departed from New England in

-10-

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