Movie Review: Bury my heart at wounded knee

The movie “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee”  was very on point to the history of the indigenous people. The movie was about the history that to the Battle of Wounded Knee. The government setting a program trying to open a way for white settlers and a railroad. Then the government want land from the Souix tribe which lead to The Battle of Wounded Knee. It leads to the slaughter of the Sioux at Wounded Knee in 1890. I loved how writers of  the film portrayed certain scenes to show viewers the struggle the Indians have gone through without using words. It was little details to make the movie. For example, the scene where young Ohiyesa hair had to be cut to show cultural assimilation. The movie presented different views of the natives. Charles transformation from a young one because of his father’s views. The views of government. Also the view of the native Americans.

What was Wovoka’s (AKA Jack Wilson) vision?

Wovaka’s vision was Indians’ ancestors and loved ones who died from diseases from the whites were in white robes being happy in heaven and spoke to him to let him tell the rest of tribes that there will be no more whites.

What was the purpose of the Ghost Dance?

The purpose was to destroy white men so Indians will have their chance of living their old lifestyle again back on their native land.

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

EuroAmericans felt threatened about Ghost Dance which made them feel Natives will attack or kill them. It was a way of going against accepting treaty with Euro-Americans.

How is the Indian concept of land different from the European? What is the role of religion in the appropriation of land?

The Euro-Americans view the land more as an open space for imperialism and a new military campground. Generations of Native Americans lived on their land, the land is sacred to their culture by Wanka Tanka.

Why do you think Col. Nelson Miles is so quick to dismiss the Indian narrative as legend? Why is this so damaging to the natives?

Colonel Nelson Miles do not see these narratives in writing like you would for his religion. He wants every Indian to see themselves as an equal, not one is higher than the other. He probably thinks their spirituality is not important as his.It’s damaging to Indians because oral communication and words are very important. If you have no understanding, he treats them as invisible. The Indians do not have written literature or anything. they tell their history and their struggles through words.

Why is changing the Indian name with a “white name” so important? and why from the Bible? Why is Ohiyesa (Charles) so hesitant in doing this himself?

The “white man” name is a way to conform of  the new society. Euro – Americans ,during this time, government dealt with the Christian religion.The meaning behind Charles name may deal with history or ancestors. He earned the name  he was received from his tribe.

“Assimilation or extinction,” said Henry Dawes.What does it mean to become “civilized”  for the Indian?

For the Indians to become civilized they will need to conform. Speak English,not native language. The Indians to have the social norms of others in the European society.

How does the native way of oral tradition shape the way they speak and treat each other.

This is all they have are words. This helped them with respect, learn from each other, and not see one another as invisible. Every one has a voice to be spoken. “I have spoken…”

What is Sitting Bull’s interpretation of the Bible verse “Be fruitful and multiply” when speaking in front of the white council? What does the story of Charles represent?

The Council will not have enough to support these tribes as much as they say it will.Charles  story represents the assembling to Freedom of Land.

What does wounded knee symbolize?

The massacre. All the killing and hurt of Indians. ” You can’t fix what has already been mended.” The military was going to take their land with force no matter what the Indians say.


What is the meaning of civilization for the whites, why is the assimilation of the Indians of urgency for the Euro-Americans? Why are the Indians portrayed as savages?

Euro-Americans saw them as beggars. Euro Americans already  had money problems felt this made this will stop them from “begging”. Indians were portrayed as savages from them living their lives in the wilderness. Their survival to settle was different from Euro-Americans.

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