Associated Press
Mike Johanns (left), then governor of Nebraska, and Chief Oliver Red Cloud unveil a bust of the Oglala Sioux Chief Red Cloud during a ceremony to induct Chief Red Cloud into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in this file photo from Lincoln, Nebraska. Oliver Red Cloud, who was a descendent of the famed chief, walked on July 4 at age 93.

Sioux Nation Chief Oliver Red Cloud Walks On


He served as chief of the Sioux Nation since 1977. He was a delegate to the United Nations and a champion of Lakota culture on Turtle Island and abroad. He was also a fourth descendent of Chief Red Cloud, who led an umber of battles against the United States Army and was a signer of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Chief Oliver Red Cloud walked on July 4 at the age of 93.

“The Sky turned Red today as the spirits are preparing to escort our great leader, father, grandfather, great grandfather, Chief Oliver Red Cloud across the Milky-way. Grandpa Oliver, I know your family and your ancestors are preparing to welcome you home. The knowledge, the wisdom, the compassion, the end of an era,” said Lynette TwoBulls, Red Cloud’s niece on Facebook.

A 1946 image of Chief Red Cloud (Wikimedia/Department of Interior)And it is an end of an era. While Vanessa Red Cloud, one of his 36 grandchildren told the Rapid City Journal he did choose a successor, that person has not yet been revealed.

“He’s got big moccasins to fill,” Amy Wilson, another of Red Cloud’s grandchildren. “And I don’t think anyone can ever fill that.”

Red Cloud once served as a foreman to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and according to Steve Emery, Red Cloud’s nephew, he made sure Lakota culture was known.

“He was passionate about making sure that the kids knew the Lakota ways and that they knew about the treaty—the 1868 treaty, the 1851 treaty—and the special relationship that exists between the United States and the great Sioux Nation,” he told the Rapid City Journal.

As chairman of the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council he advocated for the government to honor the treaties, which guaranteed the Lakota would keep ownership of the Black Hills. The tribes were granted a multi-million dollar settlement in 1980 by the U.S. Supreme Court to compenstate them for displacement, but they haven’t accepted it because they feel the land should be returned.

As a United Nations delegate, Red Cloud took his message abroad.

“He traveled to Japan and Europe, all to gather support so our treaty rights wouldn’t be forgotten,” Emery told the Journal.

But he was no jet setter. Red Cloud’s family said he lived modestly on a ranch outside Pine Ridge Village.

His funeral will be held July 13 with a wake to be held Thursday and Friday evening at the new gym in Pine Ridge High School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

“The world was better because of him. May his wisdom and knowledge never be forgotten,” said Patricia Vance in an online guestbook.

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Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
Family of this wise one, we thank you for sharing this father, elder, grandfather & leader of the people with so many across Turtle Island. We are thankful to the Great Spirit for the gifts He granted to our brother, our father, grandfather & leader of the people for his walk in this realm. Always striving, seeking & sharing our cause to all who would listen to this wise elder of the people. Now we place him in the Creator's arms as he walks among the ancestors and is joyful of his new journey in the next realm. Among his ancestors who have walked on, celebrating that reunion with all who may show him new paths. Thank you grandfather of the people for your kindness, compassion, leadership & love of your people & many relations across Turtle Island. You blessed us with your wisdom, taught us of the ways of our people & showed us all how to live in a good way & be a person who brings pride to his Creator & his people. We have been blessed..............