Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bear Tooth

November 9, 1867: The peace commissioners who met on September 19, 1867 at Platte City, Nebraska, arrived at Fort Laramie in southeastern Wyoming on this day. Commissioners Sherman, Taylor, Harney, Sanborn, Henderson, Tappan and Terry sought Red Cloud, but he had said he would not come to the fort until all of the soldiers had left the Powder River area. The Commissioners were given a lecture by Crow Indian, Bear Tooth, on the ecological disaster they were spreading across Indian Lands. Making no headway, the Commissioners eventually left without an agreement or substantial negotiations.

(Image courtesy of

BACKGROUND: From "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown, Section "Red Cloud's War", p.144. Random House (Publishers), ISBN No 0 09 952640 9

On November 9, when the commissioners arrived at Fort Laramie, they found only a few Crow chiefs waiting to meet with them. The Crows were friendly, but one of them - Bear Tooth - made a surprising speech in which he condemned all white men for their reckless destruction of wildlife and the natural environment: "Fathers, fathers, fathers, hear me well. Call back your young men from the mountains of the bighorn sheep. They have run over our country; they have destroyed the growing wood and the green grass; they have set fire to our lands. Fathers, your young men have devastated the country and killed my animals, the elk, the deer, the antelope, my buffalo. They do not kill them to eat them; they leave them to rot where they fall. Fathers, if I went into your country to kill your animals, what would you say? Should I not be wrong, and would you not make war on me?"

(Map section courtesy of


1 comment:

  1. i have read these words and i cannot express my sorrow of the foundation of this nation , tothink that todays social crimes are any less sickoning is an illusion of the poeple of this nation they need to go back and remember the massacres of real natural organic poeple that god himself placed in this land we thought we had a better idea goddamn us goddamn us for that ideal of prosperity the native americans were the closest to earth we would ever have come