Lionel Red Dog, one of Thomas King's characters in his novel Green Grass,
Running Water, was an employee of the government. He worked in Indian Affairs,
and his job took him all over North America. It was in South Dakota that Lionel had
his last assignment.
Lionel was sent to Utah to deliver a speech on 'The History of Cultural
Pluralism in Canada's Boarding Schools.' While there, he runs into a band of natives
that coheres him into going to Wounded Knee for a peaceful rally. Along the way, the
vehicle that Lionel is riding in is pulled over by the police. He steps from the car, and
trips over a gun that was lying in the back. Hit by a policewoman, he is taken to jail
and, while there, he loses his job.
This, in a way, is very similar to what happened to AIM (American Indian
Movement) some years back.
The natives were upset about the Government's neglect
of treaties and grants. The natives held a peaceful rally in a town, then they all packed
up, and moved it to Wounded Knee.
Wounded Knee was the sight of a terrible massacre in the late 1800's. The
Natives were traveling to a neighboring camp, when soldiers came upon them, and
'captured' the natives. The natives were asked to give up all weapons, and a
misunderstanding led the soldiers to believe there was a resistance. The soldiers
opened fire on the Natives, and over three quarters of the natives were killed.
There, at Wounded Knee, The natives set up road blocks meant to keep
tourists out. They did this so that the government would take notice of their plight.
But things went horribly wrong. The FBI intervened, and set up their own road
blocks. They stopped all traffic and it...