North-South-East-West: American Indians and the Natural World

Winter Count: 1969–1978

1969 1969–1970: Big-Stick Winter

A report by the subcommittee chaired by Senator Robert F. Kennedy (the "short man with a big stick") resulted in the Indian Education Act for schooling on and off the reservation and scholarships in the professions.

1970 1970–1971: Empty-Eyes Winter

Clearly the return of Indian men from Vietnam was different from previous vets' homecomings. South Dakota had an extraordinarily high rate of post-traumatic stress disorder, particularly among Lakota males.

1971 1971–1972: College Winter

Sinté Gleska College opened as one of the first tribal colleges. Its first graduate, Sherman Marshall, went on to earn his L.L.D. and become the tribe's chief judge.

1972 1972–1973: Many-Changes Winter

From the American Indian Movement (AIM) confrontation in Gordon, Nebraska, to the Trail of Broken Treaties caravan to Washington, D.C., the Lakota's plight was in the national news.

1973 1973–1974: Look-Over-Your-Shoulder Winter

This was a winter filled with tensions and wild abandon, despair and hope surrounding the siege at Wounded Knee.

1974 1974–1975: Economic Issues Winter

Congress enacted two laws with economic consequences: (1) the Native American Program Act supported tribal economic self-sufficiency, and (2) the Indian Finance Act developed business loans and grants.

1975 1975–1976: Many-Hats Winter

The Indian Self-Determination and Educational Assistance Act signaled the change in U.S. Indian policy toward an era of tribal self-government.

1976 1976–1977: Rabid Dog Winter

Drought dried up creeks and dams. Only a rabid dog would have been happy.

1977 1977–1978: Dirt-Bags Winter

The Supreme Court's ruling in Rosebud v. Kneip reduced the legal boundaries of the Rosebud. The sense of loss was keenly felt. An elder and his grandson were dressing to dance. The grandfather took a paint bag filled with red earth and daubed his own face. Then he took the one with yellow earth paint and decorated his grandson's face. The boy asked, "Grandfather, what does the Supreme Court ruling mean to our people?" Grandfather pointed his lips toward the paint bags and said, "If we don't watch it, these will be all that's left of the Rosebud."

1978 1978–1979: Winter That Strengthened Our Voices

Our own radio station KINI was begun, broadcasting in both Lakota and English.

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