About The Wounded Knee Museum
The Wounded Knee Museum in South Dakota both memorialises and tells the story of the Wounded Knee Massacre, in which up to 300 Lakota men, women, and children died in a hail of bullets from rifles at the hands of the US 7th Cavalry.
History of The Wounded Knee Museum
The genocidal driving out of the indigenous populations of the Americas by white conquerors and settlers is among the darkest chapters of world history. The Wounded Knee Massacre was a significant event in the then longstanding conflict between the US government and the Native American population. At that time, government policy was to confine Native Americans to reservations, which led to a period known as the American-Indian Wars. The Wounded Knee Massacre was the last battle of this conflict.
On 29 December 1890, the US 7th Cavalry came to disarm the Lakota Native Americans. However, after an initial shot was fired, the cavalry started shooting chaotically, leading to the deaths of up to 300 men, women and children of the Lakotas. Those who escaped were hunted down and murdered, or died later of exposure or hypothermia.
20 members of the US Cavalry were awarded medals for their participation in the massacre.
The Wounded Knee Museum Today
The Wounded Knee Museum uses a series of photographs and artefacts to explore the events of the massacre and its aftermath. It offers a tour map and scale model of the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre, over 30 exhibits, a remembrance room, free peace feathers, and a museum store.
Being located in Wall on the Bad Lands Loop allows people to also visit the nearby memorial and massacre site, allowing for a more comprehensive visit and understanding of the terrible events which occurred.
Getting to The Wounded Knee Museum
From the centre of South Dakota, The Wounded Knee Museum is a two hour drive via the l-90 W road. From the centre of Wall, South Dakota, the museum is a 10 minute walk via Main St, or a 5 minute drive via the same route.
The American Frontier Wars occurred from the time of the earliest colonial settlements in the 17th century until the early 20th century. As a result, there are a plethora of historical sites which uncover and commemorate this turbulent period of history.