STRUCK BY THE REE

 

 

Yankton (Sioux) Chief

1804 -1888

 

Struck by the Ree, who would become a principal chief of the Yankton Sioux, was born in August 1804, the same week that Lewis and Clark passed through his village.

It is said that Lewis swaddled the young man in a U.S. flag and baptized him as an American.

Later, he earned his adult name in combat with the Arikas, who were also called "Rees".

In 1837, Struck by the Ree visited Washington, D.C., on behalf of his people.

During the 1862 Great Sioux Uprising in Minnesota, Struck by the Ree positioned his warriors to protect innocent white settlers from raiding Indians.

Regardless of their aid, his people were run out of Minnesota with other Native peoples after the uprising.

In 1865, Struck by the Ree testified at hearings of the Doolittle Commission, which was looking into fraud among Indian agents.

He told the hearing commissioners that Indian agents routinely siphoned goods from stockpiles purchased with Indian annuity money and that Native people were often forced to pay for meals prepared with their treaty money, while agents ate for free.

Agents routinely paid themselves out of money meant to buy supplies for Indians under treaty agreements.

He said that is was also common for frontier soldiers to routinely force sexual favors from Indian woman. "Before the soldiers came along, we had good health, but...the soldiers go to my squaws, and they want to sleep with them, and the squaws being hungry will sleep with them in order to get something to eat, and will get a bad disease, and then the squaws to their husbands and give them the bad disease." (Nabokov).