This movie reminds us of one of the sad parts of American history in which greed and violence wins, taking the lives of many Native American people. The movie allows us to see this part of history from a different point of view; the Native Americans’ point of view. This gives us the chance to see how much of a disregard for human life these white Americans had.

How did the Ghost Dance precipitate the massacre at Wounded Knee? How did the Euro-Americans interpret this wide-spread dance?

  • The Euro-Americans saw the Ghost Dance as violent and threatening when in actuality the Sioux believed that if they performed the Ghost Dance and rejected the ways of the white man, their ancestors would create the new world and destroy all non-believers/ non-Indians. Unfortunately, the Euro-Americans’ interpretation resulted in the army surrounding the ghost dancers and demanding that they give up their weapons. A shot was fired and a brutal massacre followed.

Why is changing the indian name with a “white name” so important? Why does it have to be from the Bible? Why is Ohiyesa (Charles) so hesitant in doing this?

  • Changing the Indian name to a white one is part of the Euro-American’s plan to get rid of the Native American lifestyle. They wanted the Natives to adapt to the white Christian lifestyle hence the fact that the name had to come from the Bible. They wanted them to practice their Christian religion and leave their own. Ohiyesa did not want to transform. This is not the life he knows. He was pretty much forced to live this life, and in order to be addressed and speak out for his people, he had to change his name.
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