Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Summer 2008


Great Plains Quarterly Volume 28, Number 3, Summer 2008, pp. 239-40.


Copyright 2008 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


This well-documented book covers twentieth- century Pine Ridge politics by linking two events at Wounded Knee: the United States massacre of 1890 under cover of "war" on the Ghost Dance, and a 1973 American Indian Movement/ Traditionalist reoccupation and subsequent siege.

In explaining the dysfunctionality of the political economy on Pine Ridge, Reinhardt looks at the long-term effects of colonialism and its bureaucratic replacement in the Office of Indian Affairs (later renamed the Bureau of Indian Affairs), along with complicated divisions inculcated by government policies, often collectively known as internal colonialism. With astonishing detailed accuracy, he looks at the main differences of settlement patterns, with Lakota "full-blooded" families preferring creek bed and riverine areas (water and wood availability), while some men and "mixed-blood" families preferred meadow lands for grazing. This discussion is periodically offset by serious flaws, such as a failure to note the 1877 taking of the Black Hills, or Agent Daniel Royer's native treachery in wanting more troops in 1890 to suppress the Ghost Dance.