Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Themes

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Themes

Why relocation was "necessary"

The book focuses on the history of various Indian tribes in the 19th century. The time frame is important because it is during that time when the Indian tribes were being relocated to various parts of the country and forced to leave behind their lands and their ways of life. The reason why the Indians were relocated was because precious natural resources such as gold were found in the areas where the Indians lived and the white settlers wanted to exploit those resources. Another reason was that the railroads were being constructed in America and the government wanted to expand as much as possible, creating white towns and villages in places that until then were held by the Indians. Unfortunately, in this quest for power and natural resources, many Indian tribes were wiped out and thousands of Indians were killed in the process.


Another theme in the book is the violence carried both by the Indians and by the US soldiers. The US soldiers abused their position time and time again and killed countless of Indians for no reason at all. In return, the Indians felt that they were justified to use the same tactics the US soldiers used. The different between the two is that while the Indians attacked mainly only the US soldiers trespassing their territories, the US soldiers attacked more than once defenseless Indians, women and children who died as a result. Thus, in this sense, it could be argued that the Indians were more moral than the soldiers attacking them.

The right to rule the land

The Indians were not considered as being citizens of the US and thus the government veiled that they did not had the right to live where they wanted to live. Because of this, the US government felt entitled to relocate forcefully thousands of Indians for various economic reasons. While the US government wanted to relocate the Indians for economic reasons, the Indians depended on the land they were living. the Indians have been for centuries hunters who depended on the buffalo living on their lands and when they were forcefully removed and forced to live in other parts of the country that were not suitable for living, many Indians died of starvation. When the Indians tried to left the new reservations, they were not allowed to even when it became clear that the new territories were not suitable to sustain life.

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