At Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota in 1890, the majority of Big Foot's band of Miniconjou was massacred by the 7th Cavalry of the United States Army. Wounded Knee has gained great symbolic significance over the years. It is often linked with the end of the frontier and the Lakota nation, and as symbolic of broken treaties, US military aggression and subsequent injustice towards Native Americans. This study examines 110 years of representations including conflicting newspaper and journal reports, survivors' testimonies, official reports, compensation hearing claims, history texts, autobiographies, fiction, Oscar Howe's painting "Wounded Knee Massacre", the film "Thunderheart", and displays is museums of artifacts. The text confronts the many problems relating to the representations: the ease with which stereotypes are adopted and accepted, the assumption of objectivity in historical texts, the complexities involved in collecting Lakota stories, the tensions between the freedom encountered and limits imposed on writing historical fiction, and the ethical issues confronted in the memorialization and display of the Wounded Knee site and artifacts.
Prologue - Oscar Howe's "Wounded Knee Massacre"; introduction -representing a massacre; immediate responses - "friends" and neighbours; remembering and re-presentation - survivors and collectors; the circular official record - officers and gentlemen; writing other lives - autobiographies and amanuenses; fictional narratives - novelists and moviemakers; afterword - museums and monuments - American Indian activists.