Iron Horse Apocalypse

In the late 1860's, Sitting Bull and his Hunkpapa people migrated into land west of the Black Hills, which today is better knows as Yellowstone country in south central Montana. This morsel of land was ideally located in proximity to the Tongue, Bighorn, and Powder Rivers and still, at that time, was rich in natural resources, including buffalo.

In 1871, After Sitting Bull's people had just become acclimated to their new home, railroad surveyors from the East began to make their way through his country determined to mark out land for the coming of the Northern Pacific. At first, their attempts were futile as Sitting Bull's young warriors drove the surveyors and their eventual military escort out time and time again. However, in 1876, troops led by Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer battled Sitting Bull along the Little Bighorn River and drove he and the remaining Hunkpapa people out of Yellowstone country (Sitting Bull would later defeat Custer at the same location.) He eventually resurfaced in Canada.

Ironically, in 1883, Sitting Bull was asked to address the people at a ceremony honoring the Northern Pacific adjoining east and west in Bismarck, North Dakota. Filled with the horrors of the vanishing population of his buffalo and the emergence of the newest Plains triumphant, the "Iron Horse" or "Bad Medicine-Wagon". Sitting Bull was finally able to speak his peace concerning the terrible atrocities committed against himself, his people, his land, and his buffalo.

As he spoke, an army officer was assigned to translate his speech into English from his native language, Sitting Bull's message primarily addressed the cunning and deceptive ways in which the U.S. Government took away land that was rightfully his, referring to then as thieves and liars. Proving themselves worthy of Sitting Bull's description, the military translator changed his words as he spoke, stating how pleased Sitting Bull was at the coming of the railroad*. The commencement of Sitting Bull's speech was met with a standing ovation as the wealthy and truly deceived listeners remained ignorant and unremorseful towards the consequences suffered by many Native Americans in order to make way for the "Iron Horse".

*The phrase found within the flag was a direct quote made by Sitting Bull while giving a speech some time afterwards. Rendered into modern English, it reads "The Great Father (or the U.S. Government) has proven himself as unknompi (or trickster)".