From the dust jacket:
The westward sweep of white settlers and soldiers across the American continent is a familiar saga, but accounts of wagon trails and Indian wars tell only part of the story. The final conquest of the west - the actual taking of Indian lands and the political subjugation of the tribes - was accomplished through a series of treaties, congressional acts, political strategies, and legal decisions that irrevocably deprived Indian tribes of their independence and place them under the domination of the United States. Black Hills/White Justice enlarges our understanding of the history of the west by documenting the epic story of the embittered relations between the Sioux Indians - the most powerful tribe of the Great Plains - and the nation that robbed them of their land and culture.
At the center of Black Hills/White Justice is the untold story of the longest running legal fight in American history: the Sioux nations one hundred-year effort to secure restitution for the seizure of the Black Hills of South Dakota. As Edward Lazarus recounts in vivid detail, behind that legal claim lie the defining moments of the tribe's history: the astonishing victories of Sioux warriors under Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull; the solemn treaties promising the Sioux an inviolate homeland including their sacred Black Hills [Paha Sapa]; and the invasion of those Hills by Custer's soldiers and the discovery of gold. Lazarus finally recounts the loss of the Hills and everything they represented as the U.S. discarded the treaties and defeated the tribe in battle.
After the final blow of Wounded Knee Creek in 1890 and through the next century, now using the United States' own laws and and institutions for redress, the conqueror sued the conquered over the sins of the empire. In 1980, after a tortuous journey through Congress and the court systems that ultimately led to the Supreme Court, the Sioux finally won the largest Indian claims judgment ever. Yet, in an ironic twist - and despite the numbing poverty of reservation life - the Sioux refuse to touch the money, today more than $300 million [1991 figures], which continues to collect interest in their name. Instead, the Sioux now insist on a return of the Black Hills land itself
...Meticulously researched, this eloquent book records the full story of the Black Hills claim in graceful, human detail, from the personal dramas of a passionate fight to the constitutional issues the claim touches.
The story of the Black Hills illuminates the enduring tragedy of America's failure to find a secure and independent place for it's native peoples and is central to the ongoing struggle for Indian cultural survival.
Black Hills, White Justice - The Sioux Nation Versus The United States, 1775 To The Present, Edward Lazarus, hardback, Harper Collins, p. 482, ISBN 06-016557-X
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