Giving Back to Wounded Knee Foundation

June 27, 2012


June 25 and June 26, 2012, mark the 136th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, also known as the Battle of Greasy Grass to Native Americans!  General George Armstrong Custer, our ignorant “Hero,” seen by many as egotistical, arrogant, delusional, insolent and vain, marched into a hornet’s nest of a fighting force. Ten thousand mainly Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, camped along the Little Bighorn River, lay in wait.

Disobeying orders, the “boy general” and his fighting Seventh Calvary were joined by the columns led by Reno, Benteen, and Gibbon. All met a devastating blow on June 25 and 26, 1876  when the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors sent these units into disarray and into the history books, from which they would never recover.

Both the Rosebud and Sioux tribal nations  declared these two days a holiday in celebration of their ancestors victory.

For those who know little about Native American history, Custer’s Last Stand, is relevant today for the window of opportunity it provides to explore American history.  Venerated tribal leaders and legends today – Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, and Gall– participated in Custer’s defeat.

We invite you to take this opportunity to learn more about a simple, rich, and beautiful culture. In so doing you become a more informed American.


Cindy Hicks-Orth
Giving Back To Wounded Knee Foundation, Inc.

Email: for more information about our not-for-profit foundation!

June 19, 2012


Chief Seattle was famous in his day, but only to those who lived along the Puget Sound.  He would become far more widely known in the decades after his death when words attributed to him began to fill books and, much later, posters and postcards.

Below is one of his best known passages. The version that you see was called “A Letter to President Franklin Pierce”.  The eloquent words were broadcast, printed, quoted and reprinted, and soon Chief Seattle would be internationally renowned, not as a war leader and shrewd politician, but as a spiritual ancestor of the modern Green movement.

The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land . . . We will consider your offer, for we know if we do not, the white man may come with guns and take our lands . . . How can you buy or sell the sky–the warmth of the land?  The ideas is strange to us.  Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water . . .  Every part of this earth is sacred to my people . . . When the buffaloes are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the views of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires, where is the thicket?  Gone.  Where is the Eagle?  Gone.  Our God is the same God . . . The earth does not belong to man.  Man belongs to the earth.  This we know.  All things are connected like the blood which unites one family.  The family of man. 

Chief Seattle

June 18, 2012


For the first time in more than a century, wild bison are roaming tribal plains in the Great Plains.  Sixty-one bison from the Yellowstone National Park herd were released on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northeastern Montana in March, 2012 following a 500-mile journey by truck from a quarantine facility — some had been held for as long as five years — to ensure they were disease-free.

Returning this iconic animal to tribal lands is a major step forward for bison conservation and only adds to the cultural significance of this homecoming,  says Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark, who was at Fort Peck to witness and celebrate the release of the bison and to thank the tribes for “making this dream come true.”

The historic homecoming caps decades of work by the tribes of Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Reservations to obtain Yellowstone bison to re-establish herds of the species once so cental to their daily lives and to the prairie ecosystem.  Because it has not interbred with cattle, the Yellowstone herd is the only continuously wild, most significant genetically pure bison herd remaining.

BisonOver the last few years, DEFENDERS has lobbied hard in Montana for bison restoration on tribal lands.  We also worked closely with the tribes to secure grazing permits and pay for wildlife friendly fencing and trailers to transport the wild bison.  Half the herd will eventually move to Fort Belknap, about 130 miles west of Fort Peck.

DEFENDERS’  goal is to see this historic venture serve as a model for introducing additional herds on other tribal and selected public lands,” explains Rappaport Clark.

These only descendants of the vast herds that once roamed the Great Plains by the millions (over 77,ooo,ooo in the early 1800’s) dropped to 1,001 individual bison in 1906.

  • Bison extinction begins in Iowa in the 1800’s
  • Assault occurs in earnest in the 1830’s with the mass destruction and extinction of this magnificent animal in the 1840’s west of the Rocky Mountain Range.
  • In 1844 75,000 bison robes were sold.
  • Between 1870-1891 the bones of 31,000,000 bison were collected and sold.
  • The bison population was reduced to 1,000 in 1906
  • Present bison population today is 500,000 with cattle genes
  • 12,000 to 15,000 pure bison remain

Thus the bison population was reduced to 1,000, a sickening collapse in just 6 decades, due to the efforts and government to subdue the Great Plains tribes’ conflict with the immigrants heading west by covered wagon.  No food, no tribes.  This led to the government and military desire to bring the Native Americans into the forts on the immigrants trails with promises of blankets, beef and bread.  Much of the bread, when distributed, was actually “hard tack” left over from the Civil War of the 1860’s! ~ which means it literally could have been 10,20,30 years old by the time it was allotted to the Native Americans who stayed close to the Forts through the 1890’s.

As the decades roll on, it is a relief to see the steps of improvement, small as they may be, as a reminder of the way America, her native peoples, and our treasured wilderness USED to be.  We can only hope that our care and keeping of our vast land and its treasures serve as a constant reminder of the’ tracks we leave behind . . .’

June 1, 2012


Greetings! Here we are getting ready to make the annual Give Away trip to South Dakota. The garage is no longer full of soft, cuddly animals. Garage with teddy bearsInstead they are packed in storage awaiting the countdown to August 25, 2012 when we depart for the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.

Giving Back To Wounded Knee Foundation is bringing 3,000 of the most darling  teddy bears for the children along with other supplies, clothing, and many sleeping bags.

We are looking forward to seeing many old friends and meeting new ones.

Many thanks and God Bless You in Lakota.

Cindy Hicks-Orth
Giving Back To Wounded Knee Foundation, Inc.

Email: for more information about our not-for-profit foundation!


Wolf Pack