We Are Still Here: American Indians in the Twentieth Century

By Peter Iverson | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE
The Memorial Ride

The Lakotas neared the conclusion of their long journey. They had ridden their horses for days through the bitter cold. As they approached their destination in late December 1990 they thought about a particular day a century before and they thought about the future of their children's children. And then they arrived at Wounded Knee.

In the traditional way, they had prepared four times for their journey. Beginning in 1986, they had traveled each year a distance of 250 miles, retracing the route taken by Big Foot and his people. It had been said that seven generations of suffering and hardship would have to pass after so many wisdom keepers had died and so much sacred knowledge had been lost. Now, these men and women had decided, it was time to end this period of mourning.

Although it had been called a memorial ride, they emphasized they were not commemorating what had happened one hundred years before. “A heinous crime was committed,” one of the riders said, “and this doesn't mean we forget.” Instead the ride constituted an integral part of a traditional Lakota ceremony called

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