Remembering Chief Sitting Bull

This month marks the anniversary of the death of the legendary Hunkpapa Lakota Chief, Sitting Bull (Thathanka Iyotake). He is remembered among the Lakota as an inspirational leader and fearless warrior, as well as loving father and a generous, kind man with deep spiritual faith and remarkable insight.

He was killed December 15, 1890 at the hands of tribal policeman at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Sitting Bull was born in 1831, and as a child he was known by the nickname Hunkesi, meaning "Slow", as he did everything unhurriedly and with great care.

He distinguished himself as a leader at an early age - at the age of 10, he killed his first buffalo (it is said he gave the meat to elders who were unable to hunt for themselves). At age 14, he struck his first enemy warrior with his coup stick.

As a young adult, he achieved an exceptional war record in his battles with enemy tribes, was celebrated for his fearlessness in battle, and successfully increased the hunting grounds of his people. He was also the leader of the Strong Heart Warrior Society and a distinguished member of the Silent Eaters, a group dedicated to tribal welfare. In 1857, at the age of 26, he was designated chief.

Sitting Bull was relentless in his unyielding opposition to white encroachments on tribal lands and the Lakota way of lifeā€¦and to the end, remained defiant toward American military power.

More about the life of Sitting Bull