Famous Native American Leaders
by Floyd Red Crow Westerman
These famous Native American leaders, all mainstays in American history, had a special resonance for Red Crow and first nations people for their inspiration and unparalleled leadership.
“These men were great leaders, fighting against all odds.
They defended their freedom, their people and their land
against invaders from all over the world…
in the end, each one was assassinated.”
— Floyd Red Crow Westerman.
Geronimo: Considered to be the last great defender of the Southwest Native American way of life. He led his band of Chiricahua Apache against encroachment by U.S. forces in the Arizona territory for years before finally surrendering in 1886 in Mexico. He spent the last two decades of his life as a prisoner of war at the St. Augustine, Florida prison where over members of 35 Native nations were interned.
DIMENSIONS: 17-1/2″(h) / 10″(w) / 9″(d)
Chief Joseph: A leader of the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce Tribe, who, when faced with settlement by whites of tribal lands in Oregon, led his people on an epic flight across the Rocky Mountains in a dramatic effort to escape to Canada. Forced to surrender after a long, relentless pursuit by U.S. troops, Chief Joseph vowed, “From where the Sun sets today, I will fight no more forever”.
DIMENSIONS: 20.5″(h) / 10″(w) / 9″(d)
Sitting Bull: Known as one of the greatest Native American leaders, Sitting Bull was Hunkpapa Lakota. He and Crazy Horse led as many as 3,000 Lakota Sioux & Cheyenne warriors in the famous defense of the “Battle of the Little Bighorn”, against attack from General Custer, better known as “Custer’s Last Stand”. Later, chased by the U. S. Army, he fled to Canada where he lived in exile from 1877-1881.
DIMENSIONS: 19″(h) / 10″(w) / 9″(d)
“The Sacred Pipe”: A sculpture of a Native American man holding the Sacred Pipe, known to have great meaning across many Native American nations. Its bowl represents Mother Earth and its stem symbolizes Father Sky. The two sections combine to create life. When a Sacred Pipe is smoked, the tobacco in the bowl represent prayers which, when lit, rise up to the creator. This pipe is particularly sacred to the Lakota/Dakota and other Nations of the Great Plains.
DIMENSIONS: 10-1/2″(h) / 11-1/2″(w) / 7-1/2″(d)