Sitting Bull (1885)In the past few years, we’ve produced shows for a biographical series, generously funded by the NEH, profiling well-known and lesser-known historical figures: Rumi, Niebuhr, Semple McPherson, Einstein, Heschel, Darwin. Many hours of research and speaking with scholars about these dynamic characters informs our radio and online productions. And each treatment reveals its own journey to that greater understanding.

As we are quickly learning, Sitting Bull’s legacy has many threads, many truths. We want to present you with the varieties we encounter. More than a matter of transparency, reporting what scholars and ancestors of this legacy share and how we wrestle with these dichotomies and mutual understandings is to present an in-depth look at this great man and the complexity of that heritage. And, in the process, we hope to demonstrate our due diligence and the important work of the many scholars who bring Sitting Bull to life.

I’ve asked our production staff to document and share with you, on this blog, what we’re learning about Sitting Bull — and the editorial decisions we make in the process, including what we choose not to do. We’ve done a fair amount of research over the years and delayed production so we could find the right voices that can speak to the themes, the ideas we want to tease out.

Nancy Rosenbaum, our associate producer, was tasked with making this happen and finding those voices. She’s done an admirable job, and we’re well on our way. Look for a series of posts from her (and others) in the coming weeks in which she’ll share more about her conversations with scholars and storytellers and family members.

And, if you have an feedback or recommendations, please leave a comment or contact us. We welcome good advice.

Share Your Reflection



Thank you for this all I have study as I can life of american Indians and I think I get more human than Christian (sorry I am not Christian) as I get closer to the door of spirit world I like to know more about this grate humen men like Sitting Bull
G. Kristjan from Iceland

Thank you for this story and for airing it again. The truth will out, and the ugly fact of 1978 being the time that true Americans, Native Americans, were given religious freedom after it was made illegal by the US government as they were taking away Native American lands and way of life in the 19th century, shames me to the core. The opportunity to hear Tatanka Iyotake's great grandson speak is a gift. Many thanks to Krista and staff for their outstanding work.

I attended the University Of Missouri in the early seventies. While I was there I took a class titled "Epic America, Twilight Of the Sioux". It was mostly video of John Neihardt speaking about his interactions with Black Elk. This article/podcast brought back memories of what I heard back then. He ce tu la.( If I may be so presumptuous)