Robert M. Utley, author of The Last Sovereigns: Sitting Bull and the Resistance of the Free Lakotas and Sitting Bull: The Life and Times of an American Patriot, will discuss Sitting Bull’s surrender on July 20, 1881 and the ensuing impact on the Lakota people. Sitting Bull and his people endured hostility, tragedy, heartache, indecision, uncertainty, and starvation and responded with stubborn resistance to the loss of their freedom and way of life. In the end, starvation doomed their sovereignty.
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Tuesday | July 20, 2021 at noon
LWB LIVESTREAM: The Surrender of Sitting Bull at 140 Years, with Robert M. Utley
PRESENTER BIO: Robert Utley served for 25 years in various capacities with the National Park Service including 8 years as Chief Historian. Since retirement, he has devoted himself to historical research and writing. His specialty is the history of the American West. Ten of his books have been selections of the History Book Club, eight of the Book of the Month Club. He has appeared on many TV shows related to the history of the West.
FEATURED BOOK: The Last Sovereigns: Sitting Bull and the Resistance of the Free Lakotas, Robert W. Utley (Bison Books, October 1, 2020) — 2021 Spur Award Winner for Best Historical Nonfiction from the Western Writers of America and True West Magazine's 2020 Best Author and Historical Nonfiction Book of the Year
[Reserve copy from the Library (on order, coming soon) | purchase book online ]
The Last Sovereigns is the story of how Sioux chief Sitting Bull resisted the white man’s ways as a last best hope for the survival of an indigenous way of life on the Great Plains—a nomadic life based on buffalo and indigenous plants scattered across the Sioux’s historical territories that were sacred to him and his people.
Robert M. Utley explores the final four years of Sitting Bull’s life of freedom, from 1877 to 1881. To escape American vengeance for his assumed role in the annihilation of Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s command at the Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull led his Hunkpapa following into Canada. There he and his people interacted with the North-West Mounted Police, in particular Maj. James M. Walsh. The Mounties welcomed the Lakota and permitted them to remain if they promised to abide by the laws and rules of Queen Victoria, the White Mother. But the Canadian government wanted the Indians to return to their homeland and the police made every effort to persuade them to leave. They were aided by the diminishing herds of buffalo on which the Indians relied for sustenance and by the aggressions of Canadian Native groups that also relied on the buffalo.
Sitting Bull and his people endured hostility, tragedy, heartache, indecision, uncertainty, and starvation and responded with stubborn resistance to the loss of their freedom and way of life. In the end, starvation doomed their sovereignty. This is their story.
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"Lunch With Books" is the library’s flagship program for adult patrons. These lunchtime programs feature authors, poets, musicians, historians, and more every Tuesday at noon. Bring lunch (to your computer), feed your brain!
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