18 June 2015


Today we went to visit Red Cloud's grave on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The main reason Kinsey was motivated to bring us to the Black Hills was because of a book she read this past winter. The book was called The Heart of Everything That Is aka The Black Hills. She found Red Cloud, an Oglala Sioux warrior chief, to be a very compelling character and after reading this history she just had to see where it had all happened. Me, I'm always up for a trip!

The cemetery where Red Cloud is buried is located just before the town of Pine Ridge at the Indian School, Heritage Center and Church. Red Cloud's grave is looking like it needs a little attention. The white picket fence that surrounds it is desperately in need of new paint.

Red Cloud's Grave Pine Ridge Reservation

After reading The Heart of Everything That Is, Kinsey felt Red Cloud to be a hero as he was the only Indian to ever wage war against the US Army and win. He was one of the few Indians that understood the concept of strategy and was able to out fox the US Army. The US government pretty much reneged on every treaty they signed with the Indians. The Treaty of Fort Laramie gave the Blacks Hills to the Sioux. But, as soon as it was rumored there was gold in those hills the treaty was broken. Sadly it seems the US policy was, if we don't want it you can have it. But, if they missed something they took it back and so they did. Geez, even dogs are more honorable than that.

Red Cloud made a journey to Washington and after seeing the ocean of whites he realized that to continue fighting would only mean annihilation for his people. In the end he led his people to the Pine Ridge Reservation where he lived out the rest of his long life. Kinsey saw this as a wise choice. Red Cloud was no coward. Great leaders make the hard choices. She has since found out that, among the Sioux, there are two camps. One camp honors his memory and the other feels he was a traitor to his people.

From the Pine Ridge we headed over to Wounded Knee, site of a major massacre. There really isn't much to see. It's a spot where Indians set out there arts and crafts for the tourists. It is still too early for the tourist season so there wasn't any of that either. But, there was one Oglala man there that, wonder of wonders, Kinsey talked to for an hour. I tell you that woman is a talker and strangely enough people like to talk to her. As always, she learned some things that she could not have other wise known. I'm sure she will write about it on her blog The Liberated Photographer. There was another younger man there that wanted to take my leash and Kinsey let him. The man took me out of sight of Kinsey and I nearly had a heart attack. This man probably weight 250 pounds but I drug him right back to her. Yikes! What was she thinking?!

Wounded Knee Pine Ridge Reservation

Across the road on a hill over looking Wounded Knee is a cemetery with a mass grave site where many who died here were buried in a mass grave.

Wounded Knee Pine Ridge Reservation

Kinsey has visited many reservations and in her opinion Pine Ridge is the nicest she's seen. The landscape is gorgeous and, although we know there is plenty of poverty, the towns and homes were of a much nicer quality than any she has seen. Compared to what our neighbors the Blackfeet have it is paradise. Still, a reservation is a reservation.

Paint Horses at Pine Ridge Reservation

We had wanted to try and get into the Badlands on the reservation but all the heavy rains had closed the road. So we drove around some and Kinsey tried to get some pictures of the beautiful landscape. Hard to do because the side roads were mud pits and the paved roads had no turn outs.

Pine Ridge Reservation
This afternoon we spent two hours walking around Hot Springs, South Dakota. I'm going to make that a separate blog post. It's a pretty interesting little town.

Ciao for now.

©Kinsey Barnard


Kris Clayton said...

Sounds like a wonderful adventure! :Thanks for sharing!

Kinsey Barnard said...

Kris Clayton:

Thanks so much for visiting!