Analysis Of Jeffrey Ostler's The Lakotas And The Black Hills
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The Lakota, an Indian group of the Great Plains, established their community in the Black Hills in the late eighteenth century (9). This group is an example of an Indian community that got severely oppressed through imperialistic American actions and policy, as the Americans failed to recognize the Lakota’s sovereignty and ownership of the Black Hills. Jeffrey Ostler, author of The Lakotas and the Black Hills: The Struggle for Sacred Ground, shows that the Lakota exemplified the trends and subsequent challenges that Indians faced in America. These challenges included the plurality of groups, a shared colonial experience, dynamic change, external structural forces, and historical agency.
European Americans have commonly failed to recognize the plurality of American Indian groups, as they have classified all Indians as being in the same group of “natural beings” that wear feathers and ride on horses. However, there are many different American Indian groups and communities, and some groups had further divisions, such as the Lakota. The Lakota were made of seven tribes, the Oglalas, Brulés, Minneconjous, Hunkpapas, Two Kettles, Sihasapas, and Sans Arcs (7). Out of these, the Oglalas and the Brulés got the most attention, as they spent the most time in the Black Hills out of the tribes; however, the other tribes were definitely affected by United States policy too as the Europeans set up forts all over their territory (13).
This plurality caused difficulty for the Lakota when