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A government not of their choosing: Pine Ridge politics from the Indian Reorganization Act to the siege of Wounded Knee

Akim David Reinhardt, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

When the Pine Ridge (Oglala Lakota) Reservation reorganized in 1936 under the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA), the process exacerbated political stresses on the reservation between many full blood and mixed blood people. The former generally oppose reorganization, the latter generally favored it. ^ During the new The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council's (OSTC) first decade, its agenda was frequently adverse to the interests of the reservation's full blood population. However, the Office of Indian Affairs (OIA), the previous reservation hegemon, retained most of its authority and mitigated much of the early council's efforts. ^ Later on, the tenure of tribal president Richard “Dick” Wilson (1972–76) was extremely volatile. Full bloods accused Wilson of corruption and political violence. Wilson stood on the platform of tribal sovereignty. A failed impeachment attempt was followed by the occupation and siege of Wounded Knee. The siege was engaged by anti-Wilson full bloods who were supported by the American Indian Movement. It was the culmination of nearly four decades of full blood frustration with the tribal council system. ^

Subject Area

History, Middle Eastern|Political Science, Public Administration|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Recommended Citation

Reinhardt, Akim David, "A government not of their choosing: Pine Ridge politics from the Indian Reorganization Act to the siege of Wounded Knee" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9977014.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI9977014

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