Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, introduces Chapter 8, "The Shoot-out II," with this quote (arising from the Battle of Little Big Horn, June 25, 1876):
I was told that after the battle, two Cheyenne women came across Custer's body. They knew him, because he had attacked their peaceful village on the Washita. These women said, "You smoked the peace pipe with us. Our chiefs told you that you would be killed if you ever made war on us again. But you would not listen. This will make you hear better." The women each took an awl from their beaded cases and stuck them deep into Custer's ears.
Somebody who saw this told me about it...Hundreds of books have been written about this battle by people who weren't there. I was there, but all I remember is one big cloud of dust.
Good Fox (Lakota)
Ninety-nine years later, in another Indian territory, there was another battle.
"...I have no fear of your materialistic power and your brutality cannot harm me, it will only separate you further from your spirit which will bring me closer to mine. My love for my People and the land is my strength and that is something you will never be able to touch because it is a power you do not understand."
Darrelle Butler (Rogue River Tuni)
"My only pain is in knowing that my people and family still suffer from our government manipulations and control over their lives, and the lives of your future generations. The struggle of my people continues, and will continue until liberation is achieved."
Robert Robideau (Ojibwa)
Interviewer: "So the deaths of those agents are not murders."
"NOT IN INDIAN - NOT IN INDIAN PEOPLE'S EYES."
Interviewer: "What are they?"
(CNN Interview of Leonard Peltier, September 10, 1999)
The connection between these two events, and the sentiments of the speakers, are left to the contemplation of the reader.
Addendum: January 12, 2008
Please see the following NPPA editorial essay:
Factual Guilt and Actual Guilt - Leonard Peltier