Inkpaduta: Dakota Leader


dakota_leader.jpgLeader of the Santee Sioux, Inkapduta (1815-1879) partcipated in some of the most decisive battles of the northern Great Plains, including Custer’s defeat at the Little Bighorn. But the attack in 1857 on forty white settlers known as the Spirit Lake Massacre gave Inkapaduta the reputation of being the most brutal of all the Sioux leaders. Beck is able to restore a more human dimension to Inkapaduta, who was considered a villain whose passion was killing white settlers. For the first time, Inkpaduta is shown as a human being instead of a devil incarnate. He was respected by white settlers who lived among Inkpaduta’s people and traded goods with them. Based on years of research by Beck, primarily from letters, diaries, and military official reports, the book demonstrates (for the first time) that Inkpaduta and white settlers in Iowa and Minnesota had good relations just prior to the Spirit Lake attacks. Beck does not rely on second and third hand accounts and avoids repeating historical lies about Inkpaduata. And he demonstrates that Inkpaduta never hated whites up to the eve of the massacres; but that misunderstandings between white and Indian cultures, beliefs, and needs all contributed to Inkpaduta’s actions