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Wild, Wild West
Wounded Knee



Wounded Knee
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.36

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    brutality, incensed, shaman, pneumonia, warrant, colored, spiritual, massacre, armed, commander, gunfire, heated, fate, deposit, immediately, wherever
     content words:    Great Spirit, White Fathers, United States, Chief Sitting Bull, Standing Rock Reservation, Sitting Bull, Chief Big Foot, Big Foot, Seventh Cavalry, Porcupine Creek


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Wounded Knee
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Before the white man, Indians roamed the plains. Before the white man, Indians hunted and fished at will. Before the white man, Indians lived off the land and thanked their Great Spirit for what they used. Indians believed that no one person or no one group could own the land. They believed that the land was a gift to all to be used and replaced as it was used. That was all before the white man came and claimed the land.
 
2     From the time the first settlers set foot on American soil, the Indian was pushed off the land they had lived on. As more and more people immigrated from across the sea, they claimed more and more land. The Indian was pushed farther and farther west. Each move came with a promise from the "Great White Fathers" in Washington, D.C., that the land the Indians had been moved to would become theirs. Each time, that promise was broken. Eventually, the United States government decided that all Indians should be confined to reservations. The army was sent to round up any remaining tribes and deposit them at government controlled areas far from any land that might be lived on by the white settlers.
 
3     In December of 1890, soldiers were ordered to arrest the few Indian leaders who were still alive. Chief Sitting Bull was the most famous of these chiefs. He had already been captured and was with what was left of his people at Standing Rock Reservation. When soldiers tried to arrest him, gunfire erupted, and Sitting Bull was killed. A minor Indian agent in the area panicked. He sent word to Washington that a great Indian uprising would surely come from Sitting Bull's death. He demanded that more troops be sent to the area.

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