As many in our church know, we (through The Antioch Group) are working with the Northern Cheyenne in Lame Deer, Montana to help the churches and believers there find ways to reach out their own community. (Similar to what we did in Benin.) These past 10 days, the Northern Cheyenne have been honoring the Northern Cheyenne ancestors that broke out of the Ft. Robinson barracks (northwest Nebraska) on January 9, 1879. in what is called the Fort Robinson Spiritual Outbreak Run honors
Having been forced to the Darlington Agency in the Southern Cheyenne Reservation, a band of Northern Cheyenne fled north in September 1878 because of the terrible conditions they lived under there. However, the US Army intercepted part of the Northern Cheyenne Exodus and took a band of nearly 150 Cheyenne to Fort Robinson in Nebraska. In January, after the Cheyenne refused an order in early January to return to the south, the soldiers began to treat them more harshly to try to force them south: they were confined to a barracks without rations or wood for heat. Most of the band escaped on January 9, but the US Army hunted them down. They quickly returned 65 to the fort, and by January 22 cornered and killed most of the last 32 escapees, as they were poorly armed and greatly outnumbered by 150 soldiers. Chief Dull Knife, for whom the community college in Lame Deer is named after, made it to Pine Ridge, South Dakota and sought refuge with Oglala Lakota Chief Red Cloud. This run is a reenactment of the 400-mile journey made by their ancestors.
Here’s three videos, two recent news reports and the other from 2008.
- Northern Cheyenne honor their ancestors’ journey (billingsgazette.com)
- Northern Cheyenne honor their ancestors’ journey (missoulian.com)
- Feature photos: Outbreak Spiritual Run (billingsgazette.com)