Cedric Broken Nose arrived home to Pine Ridge earlier this week with items that were taken from the dead of the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. The items will be held for ceremonial burial at the end of 2023…this while historians say another massacre was the worst mass murder of Native Americans in U.S. history even though few have ever heard of it. The Bear River Massacre of 1863 near what’s now Preston, Idaho, left roughly 350 members of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation dead, making it the bloodiest – and most deadly – slaying of Native Americans by the U.S. military, according to historians and tribal leaders. The Indians were slain after soldiers came into a valley where they were camping for the winter and attacked, leaving roughly 90 women and children among the dead. The death toll, historians say, exceeded some of the country’s most horrific Indian slayings, including the 1864 slaying at Colorado’s Sand Creek, where 130 Cheyennes’ were killed. And the death count was nearly double the roughly 150 Lakota killed at Wounded Knee, four days after Christmas in 1890. Some accounts put the Bear River death toll even higher than 350.
Colgate University is returning to the Oneida Indian Nation more than 1,500 items buried with ancestral remains. The items include pendants, pots, bells and turtle shell rattles, some dating back 400 years. The “funerary objects” were purchased in 1959 from the family of an amateur archaeologist who collected them from sites in upstate New York and have been housed at the university’s Longyear Museum of Anthropology. They were to be returned Wednesday during a formal ceremony at Colgate, which is located on the Oneida’s ancestral territory. Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter says the repatriation corrects a wrong.