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News Alert: PBS Accused of Distorting Indian History


Society & Culture  (tags: Indians, American Indians, Native Americans, Wounded Knee, PBS, FBI, US Governmentculture, society, cover-up, dishonesty, ethics, lies, propaganda, media, politics, death, freedoms, violence, usa, americans, ethics, news )

Kat
- 2198 days ago - expertclick.com
Atlanta: May 13, 2009 - A group calling themselves The Wounded Knee Victims and Veterans Association (WKVAVA) has issued a scathing letter to Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS. The letter, faxed to PBS headquarters on May 10, accuses the...



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kat yazzie (400)
Monday May 18, 2009, 8:20 am
HERE IS THE PRESS RELEASE:

News Alert: PBS Accused of Distorting Indian History Atlanta Wednesday, May 13, 2009
For Immediate Release

Atlanta: May 13, 2009 - A group calling themselves The Wounded Knee Victims and Veterans Association (WKVAVA) has issued a scathing letter to Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS. The letter, faxed to PBS headquarters on May 10, accuses the organization of fronting what the group says is a distorted film on Indian history, the last in the "American Experience - We Shall Remain" series. The film, entitled "Wounded Knee," describes the occupation of the historic village in 1973 by members and supporters of the American Indian Movement (AIM). Wounded Knee, the site of an Indian massacre in 1890, sits near the southern border of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The FBI and the U.S. Marshal Service erected roadblocks around the small town after AIM members looted the store, set fires, and shot at responding emergency crews. AIM leaders held 11 residents hostage. The occupation lasted 71 days as government lawyers tried to negotiate a peaceful end to the hostilities. The conflict left the village in shambles. Two occupiers were shot to death, although rumors persist that several victims were murdered behind the scenes during heated arguments and interrogations.

The group charges PBS with failure to hold "Wounded Knee" to PBS standards for editorial integrity, fairness, and historical accuracy. Many of the association's complaints center on the film's lack of information about the Wounded Knee villagers. "The real victims of Wounded Knee were the people who lived there," said Joe Trimbach, author of the book, American Indian Mafia (americanindianmafia.com). 'Most of the residents were Indians. They lost everything they owned and yet they are invisible in this film. It doesn't even show the devastation.' Upon learning that PBS had omitted his book from their bibliography, Trimbach contacted their legal department. PBS has since added Trimbach's book to the list. 'We call Mafia, 'The history book they do not want you to read.' Well, here's a good example. We try to tell the truth about what happened and some people don't want to hear it.'

JoAnn Gildersleeve Feraca, daughter of Wounded Knee residents Clive and Agnes Gildersleeve, recalled what it was like to watch the steady demolition of her community while the media appeared oblivious to the destruction. 'The reporters did one of the worst disservices to real news gathering that I have ever seen. The media wanted to film a western. They created the good guys and the bad guys, and never even had to pay for ruined property and lives. And now we have a film from PBS that pays homage to the perpetrators all over again. My parents suffered greatly at the hands of their assailants. They were taken hostage. Their trading post store was burned to the ground. They even stole my mother's wedding ring and gold bracelet. My parents lost everything they had spent a lifetime building.'

Among the signers of the letter are Saunie and Romona Wilson, daughters of Tribal Chairman Richard Wilson who is criticized throughout the film. The sisters plan on making a documentary which they say will tell a different story about their father and about Wounded Knee. 'I am upset how this film exploits historical issues painful to all of us as natives, like the boarding school era," said Romona Wilson. 'My father was whipped and forced to chew soap for speaking Lakota in school. He was fluent and would speak it when he chose to. This film demonizes him by distorting his record and misreporting the facts. We intend to change that.'

Paul DeMain, editor of News from Indian Country (IndianCountryNews.com), said that parts of the film "take us to a well-charted fantasyland" because it fails to hold AIM accountable. 'AIM leaders Dennis Banks, Russell Means, and Madonna Thunderhawk [all featured in the film] are named co-conspirators in several murders, like that of civil rights worker Perry Ray Robinson.' Robinson, a colleague of Martin Luther King, was said to be the only black man inside the village during that period of the occupation. AIM is believed to have buried his body near Wounded Knee Creek in an effort to keep his death a secret. Added DeMain, 'These same AIM leaders were involved in the execution of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash. They are not heroes. Several people tried to warn Producer Stanley Nelson and PBS about this. They chose to ignore us.' The group has called for justice for Robinson and for Pictou Aquash who was murdered in 1975 because AIM leaders mistakenly thought she was a government informant. Pictou Aquash was also at Wounded Knee but does not appear in the film.

Richard Two Elk, a former AIM member, was not interviewed for the film partly because of his first-hand account of the Robinson shooting. 'I witnessed the incident when Robinson was shot in the leg and carried away after an argument with some of the leaders. Carter Camp knows that Robinson died after bleeding to death and he has lied about even meeting him.' Camp, an AIM leader interviewed extensively for the film, defends his actions as an instigator of several gun battles during the occupation. Two Elk laments that PBS now appears to be a part of the effort to cover up the Robinson murder in order to "glorify" AIM leaders. "AIM hijacked the legacy of Wounded Knee and exploited it for their own gain. They cashed in and left their fellow Indians behind, homeless and destitute. That should have been part of the story. Another fact not mentioned in the film is that most of the invaders were from outside the reservation. They were not local people with local grievances.'

Shawn White Wolf, CEO of White Wolf Media Group (native-view.com), judged the film to be little more than vintage AIM propaganda. 'I am disgusted with this film. Producer Stanley Nelson has done nothing more than propagandize in favor of the murders, terror and violence committed by members of the American Indian Movement. This film only adds more salt to the wounds of the true Wounded Knee victims. And I ask the public schools to stop teaching our Native youth that AIM is a legitimate organization.'

The group is asking PBS to make amends for shortcomings in the film. "We want equal time to dispel the myths and correct the damage done to the historical record by this documentary," said John Trimbach, co-author of American Indian Mafia. 'We cannot let PBS or any other entity dismiss the hardships and horrors endured by the villagers and the victims. It is up to all of us to remember them as best we can. PBS owes it to the American public to get it right.' Patrick LeBeau, professor of Indian Studies, Michigan State University, added that the PBS-endorsed curriculum reflects the film's distortions. 'I will not brainwash my students with the AIM litany of lies promoted by these leading questions. I will teach my students how to distinguish between factual history and propaganda. And I'll use the PBS study questions as a prime example.'

Ray Robinson's widow, Cheryl Buswell-Robinson, wrote a letter that accompanies the group letter to PBS. In it, she wrote, 'Ray was able to connect with all sorts of people more than anyone I have ever known…. I am saddened to learn that the whole history of Wounded Knee, where my murdered husband rests in an unmarked grave, was suppressed.' She added that Anna Mae Pictou Aquash was an important figure at Wounded Knee. 'It would have been a positive addition to the historical record to finally document other aspects of Anna Mae's life, particularly her role during the occupation of Wounded Knee. Anyone's death is a tragedy, but not to have the death acknowledged is a double tragedy.'

The group plans to launch a media campaign to voice their concerns and to persuade PBS to either change or challenge the Wounded Knee film. They want PBS to have a panel discussion about how to accurately portray Indian history. Members of the Wounded Knee Victims and Veterans Association can be reached at WKVAVA@cs.com . They would like to hear from people who were inside Wounded Knee during the occupation or who would like to share information. They assure confidentiality to all those who ask for it.

The letters sent to PBS can be found at AmericanIndianmafia.com/woundedknee.html

John M. Trimbach
Trimbach & Associates, Inc.
Atlanta
770-883-5086
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday May 18, 2009, 8:28 am

Thanks for posting this, Kat.

I watched the entire "We Shall Remain" PBS series; and in honesty, the very last segment, on Wounded Knee, was a disappointment to me. Since I feel that the original Wounded Knee incident was heartbreakingly cruel and glossed over in most American history books, I was almost afraid to watch it on the mini-series.

However, although I felt that the earlier programs were well made, I felt that this final segment was hurriedly put together and highly-edited.

Anyone else feel that way?
 

Dave Kane (308)
Monday May 18, 2009, 9:57 am
I also was wondering about the hostages' fate. They were mentioned only as a secondary issue it seems. I would be pissed too if I or friends and/or relatives had been held hostage at Wounded Knee but treated as footnotes in the film.
 

. (0)
Monday May 18, 2009, 10:00 am
I didn't get to see it but, why didn't they use or do the right thing by the wounded knee, at least the people who lived through it. How discussing this is. They need to do it again and do it right with people who lived it, It was not a party people many lost there lives homes everything they had. Again more decite for they don't want people to know what all they done to them jerks,. Thanks Kat Hugs
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday May 18, 2009, 10:28 am
 
Like many Native Americans raised during my childhood, my ancestors, having lived through the times immediately preceding or following Wounded Knee (my grandfather was born in 1865), lived on reservations and (some) survived by remaining strong (but silent).
 
Although very close to my beloved grandfather, I think he considered it to be a weakness to speak of his experiences.  He chose, instead, to keep his beliefs (which he strongly felt were his spiritual right), but to do what was best for his family.  So, he "acclimated," but never cut his hair and looked with disdain upon the prejudicial behavior of the ignorant majority-white society in which he had to learn to live in order to survive.  As such, unfortunately, I didn't learn much from him.
 
Years ago, when I read "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," by Dee Brown, and had a chance to see the photos and truth of the barbarity, a new anger arose in me.  Rage at the society who taught me a "filtered" and largely untrue history of my own ancestors; and who has even since, repeated outrageous disregard for the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
 
Since then, I made an oath to my grandfather to do my best to further understanding and knowledge of the truth, and promote long-overdue reparations to my savagely used and abused ancestors -- without anger, although it is sometimes hard.
 
After so many lies, told for so long, and with weak hope that this mini-series would finally reveal the extreme injustices, I was -- yet again -- disgusted at the lack of honesty in the retelling of my people's history.
 
 

Leigh B. (211)
Monday May 18, 2009, 10:32 am
Noted Kat, this must be redone to correctly convey the story of Wounded Knee!
 

. (0)
Monday May 18, 2009, 10:59 am
noted thank you
 

Past Member (0)
Monday May 18, 2009, 11:40 am
I agree with you Carole,I'm not suprised at the lack of honesty by PBS of covering this mini series. I was a youngster when this was going-on in 73'.But I remember people were nervous and talking about wounded knee.The same thing Happened to the DVD Movie version of" Bury my heart at wounded " they made Sitting Bull look like a Clown.(He was one of greatest lakota Chiefs at that time in history.) Read the Autobiography by: Leonard peltier,titled (My life is a SunDance.) Another Auto by ( Leonard Crow Dog).Both of these men were there at the wounded knee take-over in 1973...
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday May 18, 2009, 11:57 am

Excellent point, David -- AND THANK YOU!

However, what struck me most was that, while the other episodes concentrated on the history of Native Americans during that time, the last one (about Wounded Knee) split itself, concentrating mainly on the uprising of the 70's, but not truly revealing the vile massacre of 1890, which signaled the end of the "Indian Uprising."
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday May 18, 2009, 11:58 am

(Wow, David, you obviously impressed me more than once this week -- cuz I can't send you another star.)

LOL
 

kat yazzie (400)
Monday May 18, 2009, 12:00 pm
Yeh, Carol and David...I can't send either of you guys green stars yet either! Keep up the great work!
 

Simone D. (1486)
Monday May 18, 2009, 12:45 pm
Thank you Kat.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday May 18, 2009, 1:16 pm
Same here Carol by your comments and writing,you appear to be an educated women.What university did you attend? if you don't mind sharing?
 

. (0)
Monday May 18, 2009, 1:50 pm
None of those stories were accurate. I cant blame anyone for being upset over the way they made it all seem so less than what really happened. Sugar coating is rampant. Guess one could tell the stories were not written by an actual INDIAN!!! Want to know what really happened? Ask an Indian! We know as it is in our blood to know!
 

Bette M. (91)
Monday May 18, 2009, 1:53 pm
Someday someday........America will have
one of its' own at the helm of this country!!

It is long over due!!

Plant trees for life.......
 

Kari D. (192)
Monday May 18, 2009, 2:57 pm
I didn't see the movie on PBS, but after reading the coments here, PBS should remake this mini series. Not only the Indians should know what really happen, but so should the white, black and aisian to.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday May 18, 2009, 3:06 pm
I'm so sorry, I was out of town and missed this series. Sure wish I had watched. However, I've noticed for years how people re-write history. It's still going on right now, with Bush & Cheney trying to re-write their own histories. It is no surprise that 50 years or more from now, no one will know what the real truth is about anything, as it gets re-written to suit the people involved. From the sound of it, that is what must have happened here too. Unless we were living at the time, I guess there are some things we won't know for sure, ever. Thanks, Kat, for posting this, and for all you do for us. I can understand the disappointment in those who did see the PBS series, so maybe it is okay that I missed, since it was probably all re-written so it is no longer the truth. What a shame. Shame on PBS for not getting the story right.
 

Margo Lodge-Seven Oakes (38)
Monday May 18, 2009, 3:25 pm
I wonder if I can get my money back from PBS. I had bought it for my grandsons. That makes me angry.
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday May 18, 2009, 4:12 pm

David, as this article proves, NOTHING I learned in school(s) is more true than my own life experiences and research inspired by curiosity and thirst for real knowledge. It is a journey that doesn't end until my last breath.

"Educated" is a highly-subjective term.
 

Good H. (3822)
Monday May 18, 2009, 4:56 pm
Thanks for illuminating... good points.
 

BernadetteP P. (72)
Monday May 18, 2009, 5:00 pm
they should be care ful what they say and put out onthaht subjiect
 

sue M. (184)
Monday May 18, 2009, 5:34 pm
Not knowing anything about Wounded Knee prior to this segment and watching this particular "version" of the story it just made me more and more angry of how NA's were and still are being treated. To me it does not matter to much how the story is played out or twisted. The bottom line was it was a demonstration against how they were abused and the FBI wanted it turned into a bloodbath like how they always do. We ALL know the government is against them. People do see truth regardless of the lies they are told. All media is controlled, bought and paid for and one has to realize that nothing they say is the truth - ever!
If people are smart they can turn those lies to their advantage. All is not lost.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday May 18, 2009, 5:37 pm
PBS should have done a thorough investigation before airing such an important historical event that changed lives forever. I am very disappointed by this. Thank you Carole and Kat..noted
 

Hugh M. (75)
Monday May 18, 2009, 7:42 pm
This is another example of the emotional nature of the responses of the American people and the American "just is" system. It has no basis in rational thinking any more and certainly no regard for truth or any form of ideal. Superman would be very unhappy with your country and the low ranking of 'truth and justice' and pre-eminence of the 'American way'. Unfortunately that means the dominance of money at the expense of both of the others. That's the American way and no doubt it is why the programme was made the way it is and without regard for either truth or justice. I hope that one day the Indian way comes back because this American way, as judged by present reality, stinks. I know Carole wellenough to know that if people like her are given free rein the influence of Native Americans will grow. Kat, you are probably on the same path, eh? Love and Peace.
 

Haudeno Saunee (19)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 2:17 am
The entire series was a load of b***s**t!

From the first episode to the last, the audience was informed by the producers and the various film crews that this was conceived as a history done strictly from the Native American perspective; that unlike earlier films that told American history from White Man's point-of-view in which Indin' poeples were depicted as relatively unimportant in the scheme of things, caricatures of human beings....This was going to be different; yeah sure

Instead of the above, the audience is treated to highly selective tribal histories. In the segment that dealt with the Apaches, most of the film was about "Geronimo" (Goyathlay) and the depth of hate that the Apache have for him, etc. Unlike the glossing over of the Wonded Knee victims, the decendents of "Geronimo's" victims were given ample exposure to vent the dislike of that "troublemaker and mass murderere"
The real perpetrators - the Whites - were treated as though they were the victims rather than the agressors responsible for setting into motion the violent confrontations...and so on...
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (80)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 5:15 am
I wanted to send you a star, Just Carole, (actually several, but the system doesn't allow for that), for your "Monday May 18, 2009, 10:28 am" comment about your childhood and your grandfather.

I, too, read "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," by Dee Brown, years ago, and even without any Native American ancestors, was devastated by the story of the decline and the genocide of one tribe after another, chapter by chapter, moving from east to west.

However, the comments here confuse me a bit, insofar as many seem to be opposing a 'false' or 'white'/European settlers' version of history to the 'true' or Native American version in the last PBS episode. This doesn't seem to coincide with the criticism of this episode devoted to the 1970s Wounded Knee events. The people who are critical of PBS's version are critical of AIM. So this episode is not pitting the 'white' colonial oppressors' version against the Native American experience of it, but two conflicting views within the Native American community itself, the pro-AIM and the anti-AIM. Many comments from C2 members here are casting the conflict around PBS's version of the 1970s violence at Wounded Knee in terms of the traditional 'white perpetrators of genocide against indigenous people' vs the Native Americans. Now while this is true of all of the 17th, 18th & 19th century history of genocide & war perpetrated against Native Americans by the European settlers & US govt/military, this is not the dividing line in the criticism of the episode and it just doesn't fit the criticism aimed at PBS.

I am amazed that no one has picked up on this; the poeple criticizing PBS are criticizing PBS's failure to hold AIM responsible for the violence! I must say I am confused because I thought Native Americans supported AIM and Leonard Peltier. I thought that Native Americans who DIDN'T support AIM (& Peltier) were BIA stooges, supporters of the goon squad, and/or the FBI & BIA power structure that has oppressed people on the reservtion and that AIM was against!

Just recently, Kat posted an interview with Peltier's former lawyer who brought up the issue of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash's 1975 murder, saying the FBI had led a cover-up attempt and when that failed, accused AIM leaders of having killed her because they thought she was a government informant. From watching that interview, I believed that the FBI was responsible for her death and responsible for false accusations against AIM! Now, in this piece, we hear Native Americans supporting what I was led to believe was an FBI fantasy account:

"Paul DeMain, editor of News from Indian Country (IndianCountryNews.com), said that parts of the film "take us to a well-charted fantasyland" because it fails to hold AIM accountable. 'AIM leaders Dennis Banks, Russell Means, and Madonna Thunderhawk [all featured in the film] are named co-conspirators in several murders, like that of civil rights worker Perry Ray Robinson.' Robinson, a colleague of Martin Luther King, was said to be the only black man inside the village during that period of the occupation. AIM is believed to have buried his body near Wounded Knee Creek in an effort to keep his death a secret. Added DeMain, 'These same AIM leaders were involved in the execution of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash. They are not heroes. Several people tried to warn Producer Stanley Nelson and PBS about this. They chose to ignore us.' The group has called for justice for Robinson and for Pictou Aquash who was murdered in 1975 because AIM leaders mistakenly thought she was a government informant. Pictou Aquash was also at Wounded Knee but does not appear in the film."

So, it would appear that Aquash's murder is still controversial and it isn't just the FBI version vs the Native American version !


What do YOU think, Kat?


Whether Pine Ridge residents and witness of these events, whether Native American or not, all the people quoted in Kat's article are targeting AIM as the perpetrators of the violence & devastation that victimized the 'invisible' Native victims, not the traditional 'white power structure' oppressors or the even the FBI(except for the person who complains about the role of the press in covering the conflict.) Such as former AIM member, Richard Two Elk, who says, ""AIM hijacked the legacy of Wounded Knee and exploited it for their own gain. They cashed in and left their fellow Indians behind, homeless and destitute. That should have been part of the story. Another fact not mentioned in the film is that most of the invaders were from outside the reservation. They were not local people with local grievances." Or Shawn White Wolf, CEO of White Wolf Media Group (native-view.com), who "judged the film to be little more than vintage AIM propaganda. 'I am disgusted with this film. Producer Stanley Nelson has done nothing more than propagandize in favor of the murders, terror and violence committed by members of the American Indian Movement. This film only adds more salt to the wounds of the true Wounded Knee victims. And I ask the public schools to stop teaching our Native youth that AIM is a legitimate organization.' "

PBS came out and stated from the start that they had made the decision to report on the Wounded Knee conflict from the AIM point of view, so you can't really accuse PBS of getting it wrong- they got the 'AIM version' right! What is new to me is that so many Native Americans are against AIM and consider their version to be propaganda & a distortion of history.
 

Michael Sandstrom (306)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 6:16 am
TY Friend, if you believe what you see on TV, you are in trouble!! Cowboys and Injuns, we all know its a bunch of bull!! The fore fathers "discovered a country that was already owned"? I think I'll go discover me a 2009 Dodge Charger and put the "owners" on a reservation!!
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 6:37 am

 
Speaking only for myself:  In the first place, it was a Herculean undertaking to even attempt to portray over 350 years of Native American history in one mini-series.  That said, I could understand the omission of certain incidents, and the concentration on certain key individuals and events.  (BTW, anyone who missed all or some of the series, can watch it here:  I Shall Remain.)
 
The series was divided into 5 parts: 
1. After the Mayflower
2.Tecumseh's Vision
3. Trail of Tears
4. Geronimo
5. Wounded Knee
 
The original Wounded Knee tragedy occurred in 1890 and the second in 1973.  I have no quarrel with AIM, and that organization had nothing to do with my criticism.  What irritated me was that the episode seemed to give brief "lip service" to the horrifically brutal, heartless original event and pretty much jumped from 1890 to 1973 in a slap-dash, confusing, disorganized manner . . . doing no justice to either.
 
I got  the impression that the producers were becoming tired of the project; felt it was getting too long (or they were spending too much money); and decided to just get it over with; and left a great deal of film on the cutting room floor!
 
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (80)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 9:06 am
Thanks for the link, Carole- living in France I don't get to see PBS.

And, yes, I did understand that your criticism was based on other issues, on the fact that more time was given to the 1970 revolt or uprising, or whatever you want to call it, whereas you'd have prefered to see more time devoted to the original Wounded Knee tragedy.

If you went back and found Kat's earlier post of the interview of Leonard Peltier's former lawyer, you'd see that the content of the critism directed against PBS and PBS's AIM-inspired version of the 1970s Wounded Knee conflict is just the opposite of what the ex-lawyer had to say.

The lawyer's view is that the US govt, FBI, etc have been unjust & repressive in prosecuting AIM members - framing them, fabricating evidence, sending innocent people to jail, as in the case of Annie Mae Aquash's murder- whereas the views of the people critical of the PBS film is that AIM stands for American Indian Mafia, in fact the title of the book written by one of them.

But I find it strange that no one has mentioned the content of Kat's post - the issues raised by the people who addressed the letter to PBS, THEIR criticism of PBS for coming out with an AIM version.

If people claim to support Native American rights, shouldn't they be applauding PBS for giving the AIM version? I thought AIM was in the forefront of the struggle and hear Kat has posted a press release full of criticism for what I had always thought was the most progressive organization for Native American rights. This is such a turnaround from what we usually find that it amazes me that no one has seemed to notice it.
 

. (0)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 10:26 am
I watched all of them and found them fascinating! Very eye opening and educational. I am sure the Native Americans involved in the making of this did the best they could to cover the most important events within the time frame they had to work with.
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 6:32 pm

Jill (Alba), your point is valid . . . and, admittedly, I strayed from Kat's original point.

I am assuming that you are referring to this:

"Paul DeMain, editor of News from Indian Country (IndianCountryNews.com), said that parts of the film "take us to a well-charted fantasyland" because it fails to hold AIM accountable. 'AIM leaders Dennis Banks, Russell Means, and Madonna Thunderhawk [all featured in the film] are named co-conspirators in several murders, like that of civil rights worker Perry Ray Robinson.' Robinson, a colleague of Martin Luther King, was said to be the only black man inside the village during that period of the occupation. AIM is believed to have buried his body near Wounded Knee Creek in an effort to keep his death a secret. Added DeMain, 'These same AIM leaders were involved in the execution of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash. They are not heroes. Several people tried to warn Producer Stanley Nelson and PBS about this. They chose to ignore us.' The group has called for justice for Robinson and for Pictou Aquash who was murdered in 1975 because AIM leaders mistakenly thought she was a government informant. Pictou Aquash was also at Wounded Knee but does not appear in the film."

Well, let me say this about that. I REFUSE to further divide the much-needed Native American cohesiveness by involving myself in separatist remarks against my own people. (No matter how misguided they may be.)

(Thank you, Grandpa, for that guidance.)
 

Wolfweeps Pommawolf (251)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 6:37 pm
I recorded the whole series, but ironically watched the wunded Knee segment, and was sadly disappointed. Sadden that so much was manipulated to just get through the segment.I was just 14 when all this came about, and it was never told in great truth, and still ins't to this day.
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 6:38 pm

Bless you, and your honest spirit, Pommawolf.
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 6:41 pm
This is on my profile (and has been, pretty much, since I joined Care2):

The Wounded Knee Massacre
(December 29, 1890)

Under cover of the night on December 23, a band of 350 people left the Miniconjou village on the Cheyenne River to begin a treacherous 150-mile, week-long trek through the Badlands to reach the Pine Ridge Agency.

Although Chief Big Foot was aged and seriously ill with pneumonia, his group traversed the rugged, frozen terrain of the Badlands in order to reach the protection of Chief Red Cloud who had promised them food, shelter, and horses. It is reported that both Big Foot and Red Cloud wanted peace.

On December 28, the group was surrounded by Major Samuel M. Whitside and the Seventh Calvary (the old regiment of General George Custer). Big Foot's band hoisted a white flag, but the army apprehended the Indians, forcing them to the bank of Wounded Knee Creek. There, four large Hotchkiss cannons had been menacingly situated atop both sides of the valley overlooking the encampment, ready to fire upon the Indians.

A rumor ran through the camp that the Indians were to be deported to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) which had the reputation for its living conditions being far worse than any prison. The Lakotas became panicky, and historians have surmised that if the misunderstanding had been clarified that they were to be taken to a different camp, the entire horrific incident might have been averted.

That evening, Colonel James Forsyth arrived with reinforcements and took over as commander of the operation. The Indians were not allowed to sleep as the soldiers interrogated them through the night. (It has been reported that many of the questions were to determine who among the group had been at Little Bighorn fourteen years earlier. In addition, eyewitnesses claimed that the soldiers had been drinking to celebrate the capture of the ailing Big Foot.)

The soldiers ordered that the Indians be stripped of their weapons, and this further agitated an increasingly tense and serious situation. While the soldiers searched for weapons, a few of the Indians began singing Ghost Dance songs, and one of them (thought to be the medicine man, Yellow Bird, although this is still disputed by historians) threw dirt in a ceremonial act.

This action was misunderstood by the soldiers as a sign of imminent hostile aggression, and within moments, a gun discharged. It is believed that the gun of a deaf man, Black Coyote, accidentally fired as soldiers tried to take it from him. Although the inadvertent single shot did not injure anyone, instantaneously the soldiers retaliated by spraying the unarmed Indians with bullets from small arms, as well as the Hotchkiss cannons which overlooked the scene. (Hotchkiss cannons are capable of firing two-pound explosive shells at a rate of fifty per minute.)

With only their bare hands to fight back, the Indians tried to defend themselves, but the incident deteriorated further into bloody chaos and the 350 unarmed Indians were outmatched and outnumbered by the nearly 500 U.S. soldiers.

The majority of the massacre fatalities occurred during the initial ten to twenty minutes of the incident, but the firing lasted for several hours as the army chased after those who tried to escape into the nearby ravine. According to recollections by some of the Indian survivors, the soldiers cried out "Remember the Little Bighorn" as they sportingly hunted down those who fled -- evidence to them that the massacre was in revenge of Custer's demise at Little Bighorn in 1876.

Many of the injured died of exposure in the freezing weather, and several days after the incident the dead were strewn as far as approximately two to five miles away from the original site. By mid-afternoon on December 29, 1890, the indiscriminate slaughter ceased.

Nearly three hundred men (including Chief Big Foot), women, and children -- old and young -- were dead on the frosty banks of Wounded Knee Creek. Twenty-nine soldiers also died in the melee, but it is believed that most of the military casualities were a result of "friendly" crossfire that occurred during the fighting frenzy.

Twenty-three soldiers from the Seventh Calvary were later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for the slaughter of defenseless Indians at Wounded Knee.
Contributed by Lori Liggett - Bowling Green State University,
American Culture Studies Program - Summer 1998
 

ARTLADY ONE (56)
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 7:32 pm
I didn't see the film, but can't say I"m surprised PBS would put out a story that is untrue. PBS was hijacked just like everything else.............sigh!
 

Teresa del Castillo (1519)
Wednesday May 20, 2009, 8:04 am
noted
 

Past Member (0)
Friday May 22, 2009, 8:05 am
So very disappointing....but then,the media has always been notorious for glossing over and distorting inconvenient truths...so Joseph,you're quite right...Don't look to television for the truth.You won't find it there.Look inside yourself.
 

Past Member (0)
Friday May 22, 2009, 8:20 am
I did have hope for this series,though....Frustrating....
 

Haudeno Saunee (19)
Sunday May 24, 2009, 1:42 am
PBS is nothing more than a PsyOps tool for the Corporate State's massaging of the masses!
 

Sally D. (88)
Sunday May 24, 2009, 10:44 pm
I belong to a group called 'Supporters of Native American Rights' - One of the group hosts Brian Niles has been actively supporting the Native Americans by increasing public awareness regarding the 'truth' behind the treatment of the Native American People. The Native American People had everything taken away from them, their land, their homes, their dignity & their lives. I am a supporter of his group. Brian lives in Canada. He managed to reach me in England regarding his group & I was impressed by his devotion to supporting the Native Americans. I will forward this News Alert 'PBS accused of distorting American History' to Brian Niles. If anyone is interested in joining his group, Brian Niles has a profile on Care 2 and a profile on Windows Live. If you send him a message, he will invite you to join his group. I am sure some of you have already heard of Brian Niles and may already be a member of the group. Native Americans are still being mistreated today. The truth needs to be told. Thanks.
SALLY D.

 

Past Member (0)
Saturday June 6, 2009, 7:44 am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVxLqfPlMeU
 
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