Born in about 1831, Sitting Bull was perhaps the most respected leader of the Lakota Sioux during their war with the U.S. Army in the late nineteenth century.
His people’s faith in his courage and judgment was clear in their decision to name him head chief of all the Lakota in 1867, when he was only 36 years old. After fighting in the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, Sitting Bull took his followers to Canada to escape the vengeance of the U.S. troops.
They stayed there for several harsh, cold winters that left them close to starvation.
To save his people, Sitting Bull hesitantly returned to the United States in 1881 and agreed to live on a reservation. There he continued to be a leader, rallying his people to oppose the harsh rules of reservation officials and to keep their own ways alive.
Branded as a troublemaker, Sitting Bull was arrested on December 12, 1890. Three days later, he was shot and killed while in police custody.