Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Northern Plains Native American Wars of Resistance Against the Occupation Forces of the U.S. Army, Settlers and Miners

My poems titled: “The Battle of the Little Bighorn River” and “Massacre at Wounded Knee” are dedicated to my father, James S. Robinson, Jr. a Dakota Sioux, a member of the Council of Three Rivers Pittsburgh PA, American Indian Center, Inc. (Russell Sims, Executive Director). My father served as Executive Director of the famed Hill City Municipality, Pittsburgh, PA, was Superintendent of Police of the Friendly Service Bureau of the City of Pittsburgh and was the Executive Director of the Paul Lawrence Dunbar Community Center in Butler, PA. My poems are also dedicated to all the native indigenous descendants/ancestors who fought gallantly, courageously, bravely, heroically, ferociously and with honor-----the Arapaho, Blackfoot Sioux, Brules, Cheyennes, Lakotas, Hunkpapas, Minneconjous, Oglalas, Rosebud Sioux, San Arcs, Tetons, Uhiapapas. Special tribute to Chief Crazy Horse, who was never defeated in battle by the U.S. (occupation) Army, and to Chiefs Sitting Bull, Gall, Two Moon, Crow King, Comes-In-Sight and Rain-In-The-Face. Also, great recognition must be given to Red Horse, Low Dog, Iron Thunder, Kill Eagle, Hapehe Onatte, White Bull, Brave Bear, American Horse, Crazy Heart, He Dog, and Swift Bear and to all the other warriors, women and young boys who assisted in the Battle of the Little Big Horn River.
I must note that one African runaway slave, Isaiah Dorman, who was appointed as an interpreter to Lieutenant Colonel Custer, was killed by the native warriors who also killed all the Crow and Arikara scouts/interpreters who were attached and fought for the Seventh Cavalry. Dorman found refuge with the Sioux and took a Sioux wife. His adopted people called him Azimpi which means “teat” but sounds like Isaiah in the guttural Dakota-Sioux pronunciation. It has been reported that moments before he died, it is said the Hunkpapa leader Sitting Bull recognized the Black man and gave him water. After the battle, the Sioux women and children mutilated all the troopers’ bodies to deny them passage to the Afterworld. They left Azimpi’s body intact. Unfortunately, Mr. Dorman, the Crow and Arikara Indian scouts were fighting on the wrong side of history and would be perceived today as being “sellouts” and in those days were considered traitors and disloyal. (The Crows and the Arikaras were mortal enemies of the Sioux and the Lakotas and may not have considered themselves as traitors).
June 25 and 26, 2008 mark the 132nd anniversary of the Battle of The Little Big Horn River, which was the greatest victory of the Northern Plains Native Americans over the U.S. Army and the obscure Lt.Col. George Armstrong Custer of the Seventh Cavalry. The Native American forces of Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Lame White Man and Gall rendered the most devastating defeat of the U.S. Army occupation forces on the Northern Plains. All interested persons travelling in the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana are encouraged to visit the National Little Big Horn Battlefield and the National Monument located in Crow Agency Montana 59022, sponsored by the National Parks Service, U.S. Department of Interior.
My heart goes out to the descendants of Big Foot and Black Coyote and all the other Native American descendants of the victims who were brutally murdered at Wounded Knee, South Dakota on December 29, 1890. A national monument should be erected with all the names of the Native American men, women children and babies who were slaughtered at Wound Knee.

The Battle of the Little Big Horn River-----June 25, 1876

As the Robins will Fly
Under the Powder Blue Montana sky
Chief Crazy Horse said,
This is a good day to fight
And a good day to die.

Native warriors gathered in full Force
And attacked Custer’s Troops
And showed little Remorse,
The hapless troopers were fighting on their knees
As the fierce native warriors charged like a swarm of bees
General Custer’s troops were Beaten
Like Chopped Liver
At the Battle of The Little Big Horn River.

The Native Tribes
Had their special
Day in the Sun
But Chief Crazy Horse Said
Our Struggle has just Begun
Fleeing into the Dakotas
On the Run.

By Ronald B. Saunders
June, 1998

Massacre at Wounded Knee------December 29, 1890

Defenseless Men, Women, Children and Babies
Were slaughtered,
And murdered like cattle,
Now you have the gall,
To rewrite History,
And call it a Battle.
It was a massacre at Wounded Knee
In your so-called stolen land of the free.
Was it because of the color of my skin
That you destroyed my Culture and me
In your so-called stolen land of the free.
But I still have hopes and Aspirations
That one day we will all be free,
Even with a few of us remaining
At Wounded Knee.

By Ronald B. Saunders
December, 1998