Help support the DLN website with purchases through the online store.

Don't need an older computer?

The DLN needs internet-ready computers, components and periphreals! Click here to learn more.


Contact the DLN Human Rights Advocacy Coalition

Site Navigation

DLN home page is here. DHTML menu with drop-down submenus is at top of pages. A main subject menu without submenus is at the bottom of each page. The site map is here.

For the children in exile


The Dakota-Lakota-Nakota Human Rights Advocacy Coalition is a Grass Roots Organization. We are in the process of slowly developing a strong website, and may make some mistakes but will work to correct them. We will be making adjustments as time goes on.

DLN Nation : Chiefs

Return to Chiefs index page

Chief Crow Dog
c. 1835 - 1910

Chief Crow Dog
Chief Crow Dog
Kangi-Shunka; Kangisunka; Kangi Sunka; Sunka Kangi
Photo: John A. Anderson, c. 1898

An Indian Conception of Courage

Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman, 1911 born Ohiyesa of the Santee Sioux, in 1858

It is well remembered that Crow Dog, who killed the Sioux chief, Spotted Tail, in 1881, calmly surrendered himself and was tried and convicted by the courts in South Dakota. After his conviction, he was permitted remarkable liberty in prison, such as perhaps no white man has ever enjoyed when under sentence of death.

The cause of his act was a solemn commission received from his people, nearly thirty years earlier, at the time that Spotted Tail usurped the chieftainship by the aid of the military, whom he had aided. Crow Dog was under a vow to slay the chief, in case he ever betrayed or disgraced the name of the Brule Sioux. There is no doubt that he had committed crimes both public and private, having been guilty of misuse of office as well as of gross offenses against morality; therefore his death was not a matter of personal vengeance but of just retribution.

A few days before Crow Dog was to be executed, he asked permission to visit his home and say farewell to his wife and twin boys, then nine or ten years old. Strange to say, the request was granted, and the condemned man sent home under escort of the deputy sheriff, who remained at the Indian agency, merely telling his prisoner to report there on the following day. When he did not appear the time set, the sheriff dispatched Indian police after him. They did not find him, and his wife simply said that Crow Dog had desired to ride alone to the prison, and would reach there on the day appointed. All doubt was removed next day by a telegram from Rapid City, two hundred miles distant, saying Crow Dog has just reported here."

The incident drew public attention to the Indian murderer, with the unexpected result that the case was reopened, and Crow Dog acquitted. He still lives, a well-preserved man of about seventy-five years, and is much respected among his own people.

It is said that, in the very early days, lying was a capital offense among us. Believing that the deliberate liar is capable of committing any crime behind the screen of cowardly untruth and double-dealing, the destroyer of mutual confidence was summarily put to death, that the evil might go no further.

Even the worst enemies of the Indian, those who accuse him of treachery, blood-thirstiness, cruelty, and lust, have not denied his courage but in their minds it is a courage is ignorant, brutal, and fantastic. His own conception of bravery makes of it a high moral virtue, for to him it consists not so much in aggressive self-assertion as in absolute self-control. The truly brave man, we contend, yields neither to fear nor anger, desire nor agony; he is at all times master of himself; his courage rises to the heights of chivalry, patriotism, and real heroism.

"Let neither cold, hunger, nor pain, nor the fear of them, neither the bristling teeth of danger nor the very jaws of death itself, prevent you from doing a good deed," said an old chief to a scout who was about to seek the buffalo in midwinter for the relief of a starving people. This was his childlike conception of courage. for more information on Crow Dog.

home : mission statement : contact : site map : search : store : links
DLN coalition : DLN issues : DLN nation : related issues

Any reprints are under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law : See

Photograph--Alfred Bone Shirt Sr. wearing a peace medal.

They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one - They promised to take our land...and they took it. -- Chief Red Cloud

Tunkashila, Let us stand Coalition strong in protection of our lands, our beliefs, our Sacred Spirituality, and our traditional Indigenous ways of life. We stand in strong support of Indigenous Rights and the Inherent Allodial title of Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota Lands. Let us reclaim what is ours and work diligently to preserve what we now have.

End Dakota/Lakota/Nakota Ethnic Cleansing!

This website was created to Honor of our Ancestors, our Traditions, Elders and Children, and to provide a future for our generations to come.

That piece of red, white and blue cloth stands for a system and a country that does not honor it's own word...If it stood for honor and truth, it would remember our treaties and give them the appropriate place under international law. But it doesn't. It dishonors its own word and violates its treaties...
In Honor of Tony Black Feather (Died August 11 2004)

Website copyright Dakota-Lakota-Nakota Human Rights Advocacy Coalition
The Dakota/Lakota/Nakota Human Rights Advocacy Coalition (DLN) is a traditional grassroots Oyate
movement chartered on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in south-central South Dakota.

For technical difficulties contact the webmaster at webmaster at