Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.”
― Dee Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

Kuvahaun tulos haulle bury my heart at wounded kneeBury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West is a 1970 book by American writer Dee Brown that covers the history of Native Americans in the American West in the late nineteenth century.

Brown covers the plights of several Native American tribes.  Book starts with an overview and then one by one describes the horrors faced by Navahos, Sioux, Cheynnes, Doneghowa, Apache…eventually ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre.

“A short time later, near Gallina Springs, Graydon’s scouting party came upon the Mescaleros again. What happened there is not clear, because no Mescalero survived the incident.”
― Dee Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

I first read ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West’ nearly ten years ago. It’s one of the most disturbing books I have ever read,  it has shattered my heart and it makes my blood boil.. each chapter being worse than the previous one. I have so many feelings about Dee Brown’s book.

His work scares me because of the fact that there was barely anyone who survived to tell the tale. And I suppose in many cases, no one did so we don’t know what happened. And what we don’t know, we cannot learn from. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee angers me because “what is wrong with the world” and also that before 1970’s there was not a single book like this and how is it that this is the only one that made it into some kind of fame. And it saddens me because of all the injustice.

Reading this inspired me because there were people who fought back. Great leaders like Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Bloody Knife, Red Cloud and Black Kettle. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee has become an icon that lasts time.
5/5 stars

“Already the once sweet-watered streams, most of which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered. To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature-the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself.”
― Dee Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

How-To Read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
1.
This is one of those iconic books you really should read.
2.
Quite heavy read with 500 pages. Either it will be impossible for you to put down or you’ll read it for many months.
3. I see this as a great reminder. I tend to think that America is the land of the free when really it is far from it.

Featured image by Graham Thomson

“Nothing lives long
Only the earth and mountains”
― Dee Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West