When Robert Waite, a former Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business board member, heard a National Park Service Ranger say Sitting Bull had died because of Canada’s sins he wrote a column about it for the Huffington Post.
Waite asked the ranger what he meant by that since Sitting Bull died on the Standing Rock Reservation at the hands of Lakota police in 1890, not in Canada. RELATED: Fight the Power: 100 Heroes of Native Resistance, Part 1
“The truth is, Canada did not really want Sitting Bull and his people on their side of the border,” was the reply, Waite notes in his column. “There were too few buffalo to sustain life, the Canadian government withheld food rations and the Sioux were essentially starved out.”
The ranger went on to explain that had Sitting Bull been able to stay in Canada, had there been ample food supply, he may not have been killed. Sitting Bull had gone to Canada to avoid harassment by the U.S. Army after the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Waite says University of Regina Professor James Daschuk argues in his newly published book, Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Life, that the Canadian government systematically withheld food to force aboriginal peoples onto reserves.
Read his full column here.