Saturday, July 16, 2005

Into The West: Episode 5

This is the second to last episode of the TNT channel six-part mini-series Into The West. If you have been following so far it follows the lives of two families over several generations. The Wheelers and one particular Lakota tribe.
At this time several Indian tribes were sent to the Black Hills and given the land in a treaty because it was sacred to them. As the whites move in they start taking the land because it is fertile, with support from the army they start pushing the natives even further off. It is clear the settlers only want death for the tribes people. While trampling over "the wheel", a sacred almost church like place, the soldiers find gold. The Black Hills legally given to the tribe is now the battle ground for the white man gold fever and the Native Americans trying to survive.
Gen. Custer was to meet with the Lakota to drive them off the land but his arrogant ways led him into a trap by the Lakota and the rest was history. Angry by the attack there came a renewed effort to eliminate the Indian way of life. The government could not find Crazy Horse or Sitting Bull and all Indians were declared prisoners of war.
To eliminate the Indian way of life they started schools under the guise to teach the tribes the white mans world, instead it was to break the Indian spirit and eliminate everything they believed in. Clara Wheeler and her husband go to the school to teach but their good ways clash with the military objectives and eventually leave. While at the school a young Lakota renamed George fights the establishment but with a few words of encouragement from the Wheelers he learns he must fight from within.
Margaret Light Shines also becomes a teacher but to the tribes children in the camps. She teaches both ways of life in an effort to continue the legacy.
With one more episode next week things do not look good for the remaining Lakota.

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