Students read a short biography of Sioux warrior Sitting Bull and answer questions about his life. This lesson is part of "Great States | North Dakota Unit 3: American Indians," where students will determine how American Indians were able to thrive before the arrival of Europeans in North Dakota.
4.2.5: Identify the contributions of prominent individuals (e.g., Teddy Roosevelt, La Verendrye, Rough Rider Award winners) to North Dakota
8.2.11: Explain the significance of key events and people in North Dakota and tribal history
- Class set of the Sitting Bull Biography handout
- Provide students with the Sitting Bull Biography handout.
- Have students read the biography aloud in turns, then allow quiet time to answer the questions on the handout.
- Spiritual, political, and military leader of Sioux warriors who beat General Custer in the battle of Little Big Horn.
- Gold was discovered on American Indian lands. White settlers started to break the treaties and attempted to force Native peoples off their land.
- He and his people retreated to Canada for several years. When he tried to return to the United States, he was imprisoned for two years.
- He joined Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show, likely to avoid further persecution from the US government.
- Sometimes he was not treated well because he fought American troops in the battle of Little Big Horn. For example, at a Wild West show performance in Pittsburgh, he was attacked by the brother of a soldier who died in the Little Big Horn battle.
- He was taking part in the Ghost Dance movement, which the United States feared would cause an uprising of American Indians. American Indian police went to arrest Sitting Bull, and when he would not cooperate, those supporting Sitting Bull began to gather around. A shot was fired and in response the Indian police shot and killed Sitting Bull.