From his home in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Ernie LaPointe, talked with Krista about his great-grandfather's spiritual and lasting legacy on October 20, 2009.
As some Lakota make an annual pilgrimage on horseback to Wounded Knee in memory of Sitting Bull's death, we'll pull out some of the lesser known threads of the legacy of this complex leader and American icon. And we'll explore why his spiritual character has animated his own people in the last three decades more openly than at any time since his death in 1890.
A closer look at the Lakota leader's 22 drawings reveals important details the contemporary observer might miss. Candace Greene, an ethnographer from the Smithsonian, describes what to focus on and gives fascinating context to these autobiographical portraits.
This slideshow highlights Sitting Bull's actual descriptions of the 22 drawings — currently archived at the Smithsonian — he created while in captivity at Fort Randall, Dakota Territory in 1882.
Pertinent Posts from the On Being Blog
Setting the tone for an interview with Sitting Bull's grandson — with respect, grace, and humility.
Sharing our discoveries about the complexity of Sitting Bull's legacy.
Preparing for our production of this show.
A complicated history deserves some detailed research.
A listener grapples with our show and Sitting Bull's legacy.
About the Image
"One Bison, Horizon Cloud"
Voices on the Radio
Host/Producer: Krista Tippett
Managing Producer: Kate Moos
Associate Producer: Nancy Rosenbaum
Associate Producer: Shubha Bala
Technical Director/Producer: Chris Heagle
Senior Editor: Trent Gilliss
Associate Web Developer: Anne Breckbill
Language is a carrier of human identity. It is a vehicle by which we understand and express our very sense of self. Novelist and translator David Treuer is helping to compile the first practical grammar of the Ojibwe language. He describes an unfolding experience of how language forms what makes us human. Some memories and realities, he has found, can only be carried forward in time by Ojibwe.
For Black History Month: a MacArthur "genius" who's unearthing an especially painful chapter of the American experience — the intersecting history of African-Americans and Native Americans, and the little-known narratives that Cherokee landowners held black slaves. Even with history this difficult, Tiya Miles shows us the possibility of stretching the canvas of the past wide enough to hold both hard truths and healing.