I didn’t really know anything about this monument when we went to see it. If you follow the highway signs you will find a road that leads you to it. Then you have to take a dirt road to get to the exact location. Wambdi Okicize was known by different names. The white people referred to him as War Eagle. Even though history states this man tried to avoid violence. His Indian name actually means Little Eagle. For those of you who think Iowa is as flat as Kansas is thought to be. You must have never ventured to Sioux City. This structure sits atop a high hillside overlooking the Missouri River ( I may not have the proper river listed ).
When we were leaving Rapid City, SD I had a conversation with a Lakota Indian. I don’t recall his name. But I do recall the events. Every morning on our trip to Seattle and back I pack up the car. Cheryl isn’t much of a morning person and hates having to help. She wasn’t being pleasant that morning. I was happy because the car that had been parked next to ours was gone and this would make my loading easier. When I went back out someone had pulled up their car into the free spot. Of course being hot and having to deal with someone who wasn’t being to nice. I wasn’t in the best of moods. So the new car being there didn’t make my morning any better. I’m not sure if the man outside heard this or what. All I know is that in the end he engaged me in conversation. Now keep in mind I wasn’t really in the mood to make new friends at this point. However I didn’t really have a choice.
He told me many stories. Some which seemed to conflict each other. During the conversation he spoke of how many of his friends hated white people. That many people were not happy that he socialized with these people. He told me a little about how he grew up. This was the part that seemed to conflict a bit. Maybe I just wasn’t awake enough at the time. Either way many topics were covered that morning. Why he decided to have that long conversation with me that day is beyond me. Why he shared his story with me is a mystery as well. Maybe he just knew I was in a bad mood and he wanted to focus my mind on something else. It could be he just wanted to have a conversation. Then again maybe the story was all made up and he gets his kicks out telling tales to tourist. I’ll most likely never know the true answer to that. All I know is I did my best to listen in my agitated state. The story was one worth listening to.
During the telling of the tale the subject of monuments came up. This man stated that he had recently been to a few different places. None of which I can remember. He stated that he didn’t like some of the monuments he had seen because they looked as if they had been designed by white people. What he was trying to say I think is that people of light skin view Indians in a certain way and that this at times influences the art they create to depict Indian people. I wanted to have a conversation with him about the monument above. But I couldn’t remember it’s name. When I asked Cheryl later as she helped me load the car. She was very nasty and said she didn’t remember. This was right in front of the man as well. Either way I never was able to have a conversation with him about this statue on a hill in Sioux City, IA. I’ll never know if he has seen it or has an opinion on it.
Sioux – Wikipedia
Santee tribe – Wikipedia
Lakota people – Wikipedia
Big Sioux River – Wikipedia
HBO Films Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
Things To Do and See Local Attractions War Eagle Monument Siouxland Chamber of Commerce