Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michgan,.,
Friday June 21, 1974
News Phone: 764-0552
Fink- om othe ress.
AN.ELL. HERE WE go again. The Federal Government is
once more moving on one of our colleagues in the
news industry in an attempt to force him to divulge the
nature of his sources.
Will Lewis. station manager of KPFK in Los Angeles,
was sent to jail Wednesday night for refusing to answer
a grand jury's questions about tapes and letters it re-
ceived from the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and
the Weather Underground.
The Associated Press reported that U. S. District
Court Judge A. Andrew Hauk said that Lewis will be held
"until he answers the questions as per my order." In
other words, Lewis could conceivably remain in jail until
the grand jury's term ends in September.
Naturally, the SLA and Weather Underground cases
are of a totally different nature from the usual govern-
ment-media clashes. The principles involved, however,
remain the same,
The Justice Department believes that it requires
data obtained by a reporter to complete a criminal case.
Generally, the Department will request the newspaper
or broadcast station involved for the information; usual-
ly, we in the media are quite happy to comply.
1UT WHEN THE MATERIALS the Department requests
were obtained confidentially, a totally different situ-
ation arises. The media made a promise that the identity
of the source would not be revealed, for one of a various
reasons. To simply hand over our notes to the Govern-
ment would not only be unfair to our source, but would
jeopardize our chances of gaining further such confi-
dential material - and would jeopardize your chance of
receiving the complete, detailed reporting you expect us
Several confidentiality-of-sources bills are present-
ly before Congress, but have been stalled by the impeach-
ment proceedings - a time when such legislation is ur-
gently needed. A few letters of support might help con-
vince Capitol Hill that it's time to get moving again.
Editor's note: This is the conclusion of a three
part series analzing the impart and meaning of
the occupa/ion of Wounded Knee. Cp)right,
Pacific Neuss Sers ie, 1974.
By STEPHEN MOST
GHOST DANCE RETURNS
IN MAY, 1974 a year after the occupation and
siege of Wounded Knee ended, Sioux Indians
led by medicine man leonard Crow Dag danced
the Ghost Dance for the first time in 84 years.
Daring the months preceding the 1890 massacre
at Wounded Knee, the Ghost Dance spread among
Indians life wildfire across the plains. Dancing
in a circle, wearing Ghost Shirts supposedly in-
vulnerable to bulets, the celebrants believed their
dead ancestors would return to earth and that
the whites would vanish.
This religion, born of desperation, led federal
agents to fear an Indian outbreak. Attempting to
stop the Ghost Dance, they arrested and killed
the Sioux medicine man, Sitting Bull. It was
then that a band of Oglala families headed to-
ward Red Cloud's camp at. Pine Ridge, hoping
that the chief could protect them from the
soldiers who ranged Sioux territory in search
THE SEVENTH CAVALRY, which 14 years be-
fore had gone down to disaster with Custer at
Little Big Horn, intercepted the band at Wound-
-ed Knee Creek, persuaded them to turn in their
weapons, then shot them. On December 29, 1890,
350 Oglala lay dead in the snow,
The Wounded Knee Massacre marked the end
of the 19th century Indian wars. From then on
the Indian became the "Vanishing American."
Federal policy was designed to make Indians,
as a separate cultural entity, disapear. Indians
were encouraged to migrate to the cities though
no jobs awaited them and the support of family
and clan was lacking. The Indian Reorganization
Act of 1934 eliminated traditional tribal forms of
government, substituting tribal councils subject
to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Reserva-
tion lands were leased to white interests. And in
the 1950's, the government initiated a policy of
"terminating" the reservations entirely.
BUT THE INDIAN stubbornly refused to dis-
appear. In the 1960's the civil rights movement
and the Viet Nam War led white Americans to
take a more sympathetic look at the native mi-
nority. The War on Poverty poured federal money
into hastily improvised reservation programs.
Still, whether he was seen as the god guy in
Westerns, as a right-on Third World militant,
or as a person in a "pocket of poverty", the In-
dians' reality remained obscured behind irrele-
Comprising less than one per cent of the na-
tional population, separated geographically from
the -other 99 per cent, living under distinct
political conditions and within a culture which
differs profoundly from that of the larger society,
the Native American stands across a chasm from
the rest of his compatriots. Indeed, although
Congress "granted" Indians U.S. citizenship in
1924, it is no exageration to say that theirs is
another country not yet discovered by inhabi-
tants of the mass, industrial nation.
IT IS, OF COURSE, a gross oversimplification
to speak of "the Indian", but this is less true to-
day than in the 19th century when hundreds
of native languages were spoken. Even among
the Navajo, Pueblo, and Sioux - cultures which
have remained intact despite federal efforts -
people refer to a lost generation of Indians:
Indians, now middle-aged, who were made to
forget their language and traditions in BIA
schools; Indians who, despairing of their cul-
tore's viability, identified with the dominant
society; Indians whom the BIA employs to en-
force its policies.
Today, howver, elders, young people, and some
members of the middle generation are "Indian"
in an unprecedented sense. Participants in a
pantribal movement, they assert their cultural
heritage, human rights, and national ssvereignty.
Seen in this context, the confrontation a' Wound-
ed Knee is a major political event - hardly a
media stunt or an outbreak of irrational mili-
THE OCCUPATION of Wounded Knee was in
fact the climax of a decade of activism. This new
native movement began with a struggle over
treaty-guaranteed fishing rights in the State of
Washington. In the early 1960's, Indian fishermen
suffered harassment, arrests and attacks by Fish
and Game officers and vigilante groups. Rather
than abandon their livelihood, northwest Ind-
ians organized and won support from tribes
throughout the continent. Fishing in spite of
State bans was their form of protest - in re-
taliation for which two white sportsment shot
and nearly killed Indian leader Hank Adams.
Urban Indians formed the American Indian
Movement (AIM) after a 1966 meeting protesting
BIA poliices in Minnesota. In 1968, AIM set up,
an Indian Patrol which followed police who were
arresting Indians gathered in Minneapolis bars.
After a year of surveillance, arbitrary arrests
of Indians ceased. AIM quickly spread to other
cities. Since the Wounded Knee confrontation be-
gan, the movement has gained members and
supporters on many reservations.
PANTRIBAL ACTIVISM caught fire in Cali-
fornia in 1969. When the San Francisco Indian
Center burned down and BIA officials refused
to rebuild it, an organization called Indians of
Alt Tribes occupied Alcatraz. The symbolim was
potent: the barren rock was no worse than a
reservation, activists declared, and its location
suggested that Indians, pushed westward almost
into the Pacific, were clinging to this last, use-
less piece of earth.: After 19 months they were
forced to abandon even Alcatraz.
In 1970 medicine men from tribes in the Unit-
ed States and Canada met on the Crw Reserva-
tion in Montana. Here the strength of traditional
Indian values was reafirmed. Spiritual leaders
expressed the faith that nature would destroy
the mechanized society and that native peoples
would reclaim the continent:' a vision recalling
that of the Paiute medicine man Wovoka whose
prophecy of naive dominion sparked the G h o s t
Dance of 1890.
"The Wounded Knee Massacre
marked the end of the 19th
century Indian wars. From then
on the Indian became the
'Vanishing American.' Federal
policy was designed to make
DURING THE YEAR preceding Wounded Knee
a pantribal caravan traveled the "Trail of Brok-
en Treaties": a cross-country march on Wash-
ington whose purpose was to draw attention, re-
servation by reservation, to the 371 treaties the
federal government made with sovereign Indian
nations and later ignored. In December, 1972
the marchers arrived in Washington. Locked out
of a promised auditorium and barred from Bureau
of Indian Affairs headquarters, they occupied the
BIA building. The media appeared, decrying Ind-
ian militancy; then the government, which had
not listened to their requests, agreed to their de-
mands - until the Indians left the building. The
pantribal group took with them papers which
allegedly document illegal sales of tribal lands,
misuse of government funds, and other abuses
by BIA officials.
THE OCCUPATION of BIA headquarters - re-
garded by many Indians as symbol and source of
federal oppression of native peoples - was a pre-
lude to the occupation of Wounded Knee. The vio-
lation of all the Indian treaties had been demon-
strated; now attention turned to the immediate
grievances of the Oglala Sioux.
Sioux medicine men, among them Leonard
Crow Dog, invited the American Indian Move-
ment to come to Wounded Knee. According to
prophecy, Wounded Knee was the place where
spirits of the massacred ancestors -- and of the
nation which died with them - would return to
life. In a sense the taking of Wounded Knee and
the proclamation there of a liberated Oglala Na-
tion was a Ghose Dance: a summoning of pow-
ers from the last to guide the living.
While reporters at Wounded Knee were disap-
pointed to find that instead of saying, "We will
attack the long rifles," the Indians, many of
them veterans of Viet Nam, said things like,
"Yeah, man, cool it." It amused newsmen to see
that some Indians needed help putting up a tee-
pee and cutting up a carcass. These observers
failed to realize that at Wounded Knee Indians
were not only rediscoveting the culture the U.S.
had tried to kill, but showing their readiness to
die for it.
AT WOUNDED KNEE some warrors, men
and women, received Indian names for the first
Inside the village, Leonard Crow Dog and Wal-
lace Black Elk conducted sweat lodge, pipe and
other ancient Sioux ceremonies. Many stories
were told of the power of their medcine. Near
misses by bullets were attributed to the spiritual
discipline Leonard Crow Dog brought to Wounded
When asked what Crow Dog's role was in the
struggle, a member of Chicago AIM answered,
"le is the struggle. In the minds of the Indians
out there, that's where their power -- that's why
they ain't been killed yet, through the power of
the pipe and the power of their religion out
This power - whether regarded in cultural,
spiritual or political terms - has surely not run
its course. Last May the Ghost Dance and its
vision of the future as the past restored return-
ed to Sioux territory.
The Chic of Araby? Richard of Arabia?
No, it's King Richard in a cover montage
for the Beirut magazine Al Diyar. The ac-
companying article called him "arabized."