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Hundreds gather together to celebrate the liberation of Wounded Knee

January 05, 2021

Hundreds gather together to celebrate the liberation of Wounded Knee



Forty years ago, Native communities came to Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (home of our headquarters) from all over the nation in order to bring injustice to light.

It was a challenging time when American Indian Movement activists took over a small, white church in Wounded Knee. The occupation resulted in an unforgettable 73-day standoff. Many of the Wounded Knee veterans and/or several generations of their family gathered together on the reservation this week for a three-day commemoration of this part of history.



Wounded Knee veterans Richard Ray Whitman, Regina Brave and Milo Yellow Hair.



Clyde Bellecourt, co-founder of the American Indian Movement,
gives a speech at Wounded Knee on Feb. 27.


Meetings, feasts, a concert, memorials, a four directions walk up to Wounded Knee and a pow wow were highlighted events. People prayed, shared stories, tears, laughter and pride.



Drum group Midnight Express sings at Porcupine School
as part of an evening concert.




Dancers at the Grand Entry and Wacipi at Little Wound District School.


The day of the four directions walk, Hobert Spotted Bear, who lives very close to where the occupation took place, was one of many who had their own story and memories. At the gathering at the bottom of the hill at Wounded Knee, he kicked the dirt around showing where the old white church used to be.

As he watched everyone walking up from all four directions of the reservation, he said, "I thought Wounded Knee was dead, but look. It's alive."



Be sure to check back soon for video coverage and more from this week's events.


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