In the 1880s, after the U. S. Army's defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the government continues to push Sioux Indians off their land. In Washington, D.C., Senator Henry Dawes introduces legislation to protect Native Americans rights. In South Dakota, school teacher Elaine Goodale joins Sioux native and Western-educated Dr. Charles Eastman in working with tribe members. Meanwhile, Lakota Chief Sitting Bull refuses to give into mounting government pressures.Written by
Several scenes were filmed at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald and the Alberta Legislature building in Edmonton, Alberta. See more »
During the scene in the barn where Aidan Quinn's character was making the 50-cent per acre offer, breath could be seen coming from the Lakota (certainly CGI) but none from the soldiers. See more »
I am acting in the interest of my people, following the example you set for me.
Do you really think you know better than I what is in the interest of these people?
Yes. I am one of them, Senator.
You're no more a Sioux Indian than I am.
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Having just spent the past 18 months studying Native American philosophy and having just returned from a week at Cherokee, learning the language and culture up close, I can say this film does help express the complex and heart-rending story of the relationship between the invaders and the conquered in our years 1870-1890.
For those who have been critical of the film (on this site), I should note from a White Woman's point of view, this is about all that Whites can absorb of the "full" story and emotions as a first contact. Yes, more can be told and should be told. But it's a start.
Perhaps this is the beginning of a revival of compassion and cross-cultural understanding.
In 1775, Dragging Canoe, a Cherokee, said, "We are not yet conquered." It has taken 200 years. Let's hope he was right.
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