Sitting Bull’s great-great-granddaughter hears her ancestor at DAPL

Special to TRT

STANDING ROCK – Sitting Bull’s leadership and his legacy is upheld by his great-great-granddaughter Brenda White Bull.


“Everyone has that fight in them, no matter what tribe, native, non-native,” White Bull said, who served 20 years in the U.S. military.

On December 15, 1890 Chief Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake) was assassinated near Grand River in South Dakota–the spiritual leader for the Lakota who called Standing Rock his home.

White Bull shows courage and humility just like her legendary ancestor.

On December 2, 2016, almost 126 years after Sitting Bull’s death, White Bull walked across the Back Water Bridge near the Oceti Sakowin camp and explained to North Dakota law enforcement and the National Guard, that Water Protectors are just like those who served in the military–people who say they believe they are protecting their families, human rights, and the land.

“We never knew that this was going happen in Hunkpapa Lakota Territory, and it happened for a reason because I believe that this was a place that our ancestors, Sitting Bull, Black Elk, spoke about.”

White Bull understands that she is following her great-great-grandfather on a path that was foretold by Elders over 100 years ago.

She says that she believed that “all the generations, all the people, all of humankind, would come together one day.”

During the #NoDAPL resistance, DAPL traditional leaders said they followed Sitting Bull’s legacy as a model for leadership to promote peace and prayer in response to what DAPL leaders see as colonialism and brutality by the U.S.Government.

“Those were our leaders, our ancestors,  who predicted those things. They predicted the black snake that would come.”

White Bull says simply that protecting water honours her ancestor.

“It was called upon us to be here,” White Bull says,” to lead this, to lead this fight, of protecting Unci Maka, our Grandmother Earth,  and to protect our Mni Wiconi, our water of life.”

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