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Hamlet and creek in southwestern South Dakota, the site of two conflicts between the Sioux Indians and the U.S. government. In 1890 the Sioux had been inspired by the Ghost Dance movement to take up arms and reclaim their heritage, but federal military intervention quelled the rebellion. On December 29 a young brave became involved in a scuffle while surrendering, and a trooper was killed. Soldiers fired at the Indians, killing more than 200 men, women, and children. Thirty soldiers also died. The so-called Battle of Wounded Knee is regarded as the final episode in the conquest of the North American Indian. In 1973 some 200 members of the American Indian Movement took the reservation hamlet by force, declared it an independent nation, and vowed to stay until the government agreed to address Indian grievances; a siege by federal marshals ended when the Indians surrendered in exchange for a promise of negotiations.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Wounded Knee, visit Britannica.com.