Luther Standing Bear
LUTHER STANDING BEAR
Luther Standing Bear was a Native American born in December 1868. To be precise, he was born in South Dakota among the Oglala Lakota sub-tribe 1. Occupationally, he ventured into writing, education, acting and philosophy. Also, he was appointed the chief of Oglala Lakota people. He stood by his people and focused on improving the lives of Native Americans. Standing Bear advocated for better treatment of Native Americans in America. As earlier mentioned, he upheld the Lakota’s cultures and traditions. This paper focuses on Luther Standing Bear’s life achievements and significance concerning Native American history.
Standing Bear was treasured by the people of Oglala Lakota. In fact, most of them greatly celebrated when he was appointed the chief. The people were certain that he would assist in eliminating all the harsh policies directed toward them. Being appointed chief of the Lakota people was among his greatest achievements. Also, it is necessary to note that Standing Bear temporarily forsook his people and relocated to Sioux City in Lowa. He moved away because of the frustration and exhaustion of the white man 1. Nonetheless, it is salient to note that Standing Bear forged on with protecting rights of the Oglala Lakota people. He managed to offer education to a large group of individuals. With this education, he gave people more insight concerning the Oglala Lakota culture and tradition.
It is also primary to realize that most of the Native Americans were not given an opportunity for education.
However, Luther Standing Bear acquired his education at the Carlisle Industrial School for Indians. He was a fortunate Oglala Lakota to obtain education, knowledge and insight. Moreover, Luther Standing Bear also participated in activities that improved him as an individual. Standing Bear’s experiences and opportunities set Native American history in the spotlight. Consequently, people were eager and curious to learn more about Native Americans and their culture1.
As prior mentioned, Luther Standing Bear was an actor. He also managed to protect the rights of Native Americans through appearing on screen. Standing Bear openly denounced the ill treatment of Native Americans by Hollywood. Additionally, he insisted that Native American roles should be played by actual Native Americans. Standing Bear believed that giving other people the roles was ridiculous and robbed Native Americans of opportunities. He immensely impacted Native American history by safeguarding the rights of those Native American actors2. In fact, he assisted in the initiation of an association of actors to cater for the same.
Standing Bear also upheld the Lakota culture through print materials. He was an author thus published many articles and books on the subject. As observed, Standing Bear was against the policies set for Native Americans2. For this reason, he included the topic in his publications. Other than education, there were other basic things in which the Native Americans were deprived. Luther Standing Bear focused on land, religion, farming and assimilation, among others. He was strongly against bias by the white man. The whites discriminated against the religion of Native Americans, and this did not augur well with Luther Standing Bear.
Moreover, he also held the belief that each has something to offer to the other. Native American History is an important part of American history; hence it should have been introduced in governmental schools. In point of fact, he outlined that Native American children were obliged to learn their origin and history. Luther Standing Bear was not against the white man’s language. However, he advocated for the integration of Native American tenets into the school curriculum2. Luther Standing Bear’s books piqued interests of readers to the extent of instigating a national education campaign. His books were immensely educational and gave discernment on matters related to Native American History. Standing Bear’s books garnered a lot of endorsement for the improvement of the lives of Native American citizens. In fact, his books were also reviewed by more established media houses.
Luther Standing Bear’s autobiography is also a reflection of his loyalty to Native Americans. The book entitled “My Indian Boyhood” was published in 1931 with the aim of educating people2. The book covers Standing Bear’s childhood and the struggles he had to undergo as a Native American citizen. It is necessary to note that the constant bashing of his people motivated him to continue publishing more books. Additionally, Standing Bear ensured that the messages in his books did not become monotonous. He also wrote stories and tales on the Lakota culture, customs, and tradition2. In one of his books, Standing Bear made it clear that being white does not guarantee success. The white man’s mind was rigid and upheld the notion that all Native Americans were suffering and struggling with their lives.
As prior mentioned, Standing Bear aired his opinion concerning Native American History and schools’ curriculum. Six years before his death, he sent a request to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the same. Standing Bear was an assertive man determined to ameliorate the lives of the Native Americans. It is necessary to observe that the efforts of Luther Standing Bear resulted in prompting of new policies for the Native Americans. It is chief to notice the impact of Standing Bear about Native American history3.
This paper has clearly focused on Luther Standing Bear’s contribution to Native America and its history. It has analyzed his life achievements and the elements that set him apart from the ordinary Native Americans. Standing Bear was an important figure to the Native Americans because he helped them in eliminating suffering and oppression3. As observed, Standing Bear relocated to Lowa as a result of the white man. He was too controlling and dictated every aspect of the Native American life. Standing Bear was exhausted and tired of being controlled thus he restored to fleeing. Ironically, he still managed to protect his people through offering education to the public. This education was in the form of books and articles. Furthermore, the paper has executed matters on discrimination accordingly. Luther Standing Bear outlines all the sectors in which the white man has segregated Native Americans. It begins with education, religion, all the way to land, among others. Nevertheless, Luther Standing Bear managed to change some of those policies before he died in 1939.
Lastly, the paper has given insight on equality4. Luther Standing Bear was a Native American with many opportunities. Regardless of origin, sex, gender and economic status, all individuals are supposed to be offered equal opportunities4. At the beginning of this paper, it was noted that Standing Bear’s goal was to refine lives of Native Americans. Through his approaches, he improves their living conditions in a substantial manner. Luther Standing Bear was a significant person apropos of Native American history.
Krupat, Arnold. Native American autobiography: an anthology. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994.
Mark S, Anderson. “My People the Sioux.” Journal of the West 46, no. 2 (2007): 93.
Nabokov, Peter. A forest of time: American Indian ways of history. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Standing Bear, Luther. My Indian boyhood. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006