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By the 1890s, most Indian tribes had already been confined to specifically designated reservation areas at locations chosen for the convenience of European-descended white settlers expanding their settlements westward into the plains of North America. One of the major reservations established for the Sioux tribes of South Dakota was the Pine Ridge Reservation.
In December, 1890, Lakota Sioux chief Big Foot was leading his clan toward the Pine Ridge Reservation to peacefully end their continued resistance against the encroaching white settlers and the military forces accompanying them. The group of approximately 350 Sioux was surrounded by roughly 500 soldiers from the Army and taken to Wounded Knee Creek, where camp was established and the Indians were to be disarmed.
During the tense disarming process, an accidental gun shot set off a battle that grew to include the Army's four cannons along with other artillery. The settlement was destroyed, and some 200 Sioux, including women, children, and those attempting to flee the camp as well as those fighting, were killed. The Army suffered 25 deaths and 39 injured.
The incident at Wounded Knee remains one of the most blatantly one-sided and unprovoked massacres in the history of the conflict between the native Americans and the European immigrants. The movie presents the sad story of this dark side of early American history in filmed format.
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