Standing Rock Sioux

by Steve Shapiro

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Whatever your views on the DAKOTA PIPELINE and STANDING ROCK, issues of corporate greed, environmental threats and sacred lands have been raised. Here is a little history.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is part of the Great Sioux Nation. In 1868 the lands of the Great Sioux Nation were reduced by the Fort Laramie Treaty to the east side of the Missouri River and the state line of South Dakota in the west. The Black Hills, considered by the Sioux to be sacred land, are located in the center of territory awarded to the tribe.

In direct violation of the treaty, in 1874 General George A. Custer and his 7th Cavalry entered the Black Hills and discovered gold, starting a gold rush. The United States Government wanted to buy or rent the Black Hills from the Lakota people, but the Great Sioux Nation, led by their spiritual leader Sitting Bull, refused to sell or rent their lands. The Great Sioux War of 1876, also known as the Black Hills War, was a series of battles and negotiations which occurred between 1876 and 1877 between the Lakota Sioux and the government of the United States.

Among the many battles and skirmishes of the war was the Battle of the Little Bighorn, often known as Custer's Last Stand. That Indian victory notwithstanding, the U.S. with its superior resources was soon able to force the Indians to surrender, primarily by attacking and destroying their encampments and property. The Agreement of 1877 officially annexed Sioux land and permanently established Indian reservations.

The US government took the Black Hills from the Sioux Nation.


released October 31, 2016



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Steve Shapiro Oakland, California

Steve Shapiro has composed music for hundreds of radio and TV commercials, documentary films, infomercials and other TV programs. He was the music director at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, which produced hundreds of award-winning educational films and recordings. He has a BA in Music from Brown University and an MA in Music from the Manhattan School of Music. ... more

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