Yellow Bird: Exhibit focuses on Arikara Scouts
"On May 24, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park south of Mandan, N.D., held an event that was centered on the scouts who were hired by Lt. Col. George Custer and accompanied him on his travels in the Dakota and Montana territories. Some of the scouts rode with Custer and his 7th cavalry in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, where the Sioux won one of their first victories in the history of their relationship with the white man.

The “Old Scouts,” as they are referred to by the Sahnish (Arikara) people of White Shield, N.D., were respected and are honored for their bravery in participating in a battle that didn’t end well. Three of the scouts were killed in that battle.

Several weeks before the exhibition opened, I had received an e-mail from Dakota Goodhouse, a historian who’s from the Standing Rock reservation and is Lakota. The e-mail was about the upcoming exhibit on the Arikara Scouts, as they are called by the federal government.

Goodhouse had spent time researching the scouts’ roles for the exhibition. As he talked about Bloody Knife, known as Custer’s favorite scout and one of those killed in the battle, I wondered what this Lakota man, whose ancestors probably fought against mine, thought. Goodhouse is a professional historian and seems extremely interested in his subject and the project, so I guess he takes this subject in stride."

Get the Story:
Dorreen Yellow Bird: Park offers glimpse of fascinating past (The Grand Forks Herald 6/14)

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