Book review: 'Lakota Sioux' is a fascinating history of a Plains tribe

May 5, 2013 

  • 'LAKOTA SIOUX INDIANS: A HISTORY OF THE SIOUAN PEOPLE' by Robert D. Bolen (Boise); Fort Boise Publishing ($14.95)

If you're a lover of history, more particularly American history, and specifically American Indian, you are going to enjoy "Lakota Sioux Indians." Robert Bolen has a degree in anthropology/archaeology from BSU.

His interest in Native American history is understandable when you learn that his great-great-great-great-grandmother was captured by Indians and became pregnant by her captors before being rescued by the cavalry. As a result, Bolen is part Delaware Indian.

"Lakota Sioux Indians" is a fascinating journey of this Plains tribe that ruled the Dakota area of the United States in the 19th century. For those who are not familiar with the Lakota, it is an indigenous tribe of the Great Plains of North America, one of a group of seven more familiarly known as the Sioux.

While the term Lakota might be unfamiliar, you will probably recognize the names Sitting Bull, Red Cloud and Crazy Horse. Chief Red Cloud won the only government-waged battle against the tribes, the Battle of Powder River. The one fact I found particularly interesting was that the Indians learned scalping from the French.

While the book doesn't read as smoothly as a story, it is still a gruesome tale of the white man's dominion over and annihilation of the Indian tribes. We were a country robust and eager for expansion, and we exploited anyone in our path to settle the West and find the golden Promised Land.

If you like history, you'll thoroughly enjoy this book, and if you are a teacher or a homeschooling mother, it is a wonderful resource you should remember.

My rating: 4 out of 5.

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