Red Cloud - Mahpiya Luta

"They made us many promises, more than I can remember.  But they kept but one – they promised to take our land… and they took it."

Red Cloud made a name for himself in territorial wars with the Crow, Ute, Pawnee and Shoshone.  Concerned about the establishment of U.S. army forts along the Bozeman Trail inside Lakota territory, in 1866 he defeated Lieutenant Colonel Fetterman's unit outside Fort Kearny.  In 1868 The Treaty of Fort Laramie provided for the abandonment of these forts and guaranteed preservation of Lakota land including the Black Hills.

Custer's 1874 expedition into the Black Hills led to renewed hostilities and the Lakota War of 1876-77.  Red Cloud did not join this action but continued to fight for protection of tribal lands, opposing the Dawes Act which fragmented Indian territories and opened them up to white settlers.

He also fought against and achieved the removal of Indian Agent Valentine McGillycuddy who was responsible for food distribution on the Pine Ridge reservation.

He died at Pine Ridge in 1909.

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