What Happened at the Wounded Knee Massacre?

The massacre of some 300 Lakota men, women and children by US Army troops during the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890 marked a tragic coda to decades of violent clashes between the United States and the Plains Indians.

In the years leading up to the massacre, the indigenous Lakota Sioux had endured a generation of broken treaties and shattered dreams. After white settlers poured into Dakota Territory following the 1874 discovery of gold in the Black Hills, they seized millions of acres of land and nearly wiped out the native bison population. As their traditional hunting grounds evaporated and culture eroded, the Lakota, who once lived as freely as bison on the Great Plains, found themselves mostly confined to government reservations.

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