The following words were spoken by Sitting Bull at the purely Indian "Powder River Council" of 1877, as recounted by men who were present to Charles A. Eastman (author of Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains):
"Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly
received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results
of their love! Every seed is awakened, and all animal life. It is
through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we
therefore yield to our neighbors, even to our animal neighbors, the
same right as ourselves to inhabit this vast land.”
"Yet hear me, friends! we have now to deal with another
people, small and feeble when our forefathers first met with them,
but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough, they have a mind
to till the soil, and the love of possessions is a disease in them.
These people have made many rules that the rich may break, but the
poor may not! They have a religion in which the poor worship, but
the rich will not! They even take tithes of the poor and weak to
support the rich and those who rule. They claim this mother of
ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away
from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse.
They compel her to produce out of season, and when sterile she is
made to take medicine in order to produce again. All this is
"This nation is like a spring freshet; it overruns its banks
and destroys all who are in its path."
ONLY THE ABOVE IS ENGRAVED ON THE PLAQUE. THE FULL SPEECH
"We cannot dwell side by side. Only seven years ago we made a treaty
by which we were assured that the buffalo country should be left to us
forever. Now they threaten to take that from us also. My brothers, shall we
submit? or shall we say to them: 'First kill me, before you can take possession
of my fatherland!'"