This is a video of a photographer who has lived on the Pine Ridge Reservation talking about the history of the Lakota and showing a slideshow of the photos he has taken. It’s an excellent video that took me back to the eight months (not enough time) that I spent researching and writing The Ghost Dancers, three years ago.
The one criticism that I have of this video is that it does what so many histories of the Lakota do — it cuts off the history in 1890 and then skips forward to the present day. A lot of the most facinating things that happened on Pine Ridge happened in the 20th century. The history of the Lakota people did not end when Big Foot’s band of Miniconjou were massacred by the US Cavalry at Wounded Knee, while trying to flee from Standing Rock to Pine Ridge after the Americans murdered Sitting Bull. The US governments dirty deals on Pine Ridge in the 1970s are so deplorable that it’s hard to even believe — the government did things in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, that we usually associate with the CIA in Chile or Nicaragua. They fixed elections. They turned a blind eye to murder.
By all means watch the video, but when he skips from 1890 to 2010 keep in mind that there’s an entire other piece that he’s not telling you. If you want to know what he isn’t telling you, go read this book.