Why Do We Kill, Maim, and Colonize? Chief Sitting Bull Told Us in 1877

January 29, 2010

The great Lakota Sioux Chief Sitting Bull resisted forced settlement on reservations in the 1870s. In 1877, after he defeated General Custer at Little Bighorn, he decided to migrate to Canada. He had mixed feelings about such migration as he pronounced the following words: 

“Behold my brothers, the Spring has come; the earth has received the embraces of the sun and we shall soon see the results of that love!

Every seed is awakened and so has all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we therefore yield to our neighbors, even our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land. 

Yet, hear me, people, we have now to deal with another race – small and feeble when our fathers first met them but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possession is a disease with them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule.

They claim this mother of ours, the earth, for their own and fence their neighbors away; they deface her with their buildings and their refuse. The nation is like a spring freshet that overruns its banks and destroys all that are in its path. 

We cannot dwell side by side. Only seven years ago we made a treaty by which we were assured that the buffalo country should be left to us forever. Now they threaten to take that away from us. My brothers, shall we submit or shall we say to them: “First kill me before you take possession of my Fatherland…”

Our love of possession is our disease.


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