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Sitting Bull (1831–1890) was a Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux holy man who led his people as a war chief during years of resistance to United States government policies.
Sitting Bull is notable in American and Native American history for his role in the major victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn against Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment on June 25, 1876. That day Sitting Bull's premonition of defeating the cavalry became reality. Seven months after the battle, Sitting Bull and his group left the United States for Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan, Canada, where they remained until 1881.
Sitting Bull returned that year with most of his band to the US and surrendered, coming to live at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the Dakotas. After his return to the United States, Sitting Bull briefly toured as a performer in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show.
After working as a performer, he returned to the Standing Rock Agency in South Dakota. Because of fears that he would use his influence to support the Ghost Dance movement, Indian Service agent James McLaughlin at Fort Yates ordered his arrest. During a struggle between Sitting Bull's followers and the agency police, his supporters fired at police. Standing Rock policemen shot Sitting Bull in the side and head in return fire.
See also the film Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007)