The murder of 50 people onJune 12 in
Orlando, Florida where a single
man armed with an assault rifle and
pistol has become a tragic continuance
of massacres in US history, most of
which were directed at Native people.
Some say what happened in Orlando was
the worse in American history but that
is not so.
The first large, organized assault in
the colonial era took place in May of
1637 when Captain John Mason directed a
force of militia and Natives to surround
and attack the main Pequot town in
southeastern Connecticut, set it afire
and killed every elder, child, woman or
man who tried to escape. Over 700 died.
The practice of murdering Natives on a
mass scale continued throughout the 17th
and 18th centuries and was adopted by
those who saw indigenous people as
impediments to westward expansion during
and after the American Revolution.
In 1782 US Captain David Williamson
order the murder of 96 "praying Indians"
(Lenapi Christians) at Gnadenhutten,
In 1814 US General Andrew Jackson
oversaw the mutilation of 557 Creeks in
what is now Alabama.
On August 2, 1832 an estimated 150 Sac
and Fox were slaughtered at Bad Axe
River in Wisconsin.
In 1838 US President Andrew Jackson
ordered the eviction of 16,000 Cherokees
from this ancestral lands to "Indian
Territory" in what became Oklahoma. Over
In 1850 California joins the Union then
begins a practice of enslaving Natives
and hunting them for sport. Tens of
1855: Massacre of Ash Hollow, Nebraska.
86 Brule "butchered" by US soldiers.
1857: September; massacre of Mountain
Meadows in Utah. 123 pioneers murdered
by a force of Mormons and Paiutes.
1860: American settlers in Eureka,
California murder 188 Wyots.
In 1861 Col.Chaves of Ft. WIngate, New
Mexico orders killing of 30 Navajos.
1864: Colonel John Chivington, a
Methodist minister, leads an attack of
militia against the Cheyenne-Arapaho at
Sand Creek, Colorado. Over 163 Natives
are murdered and mutilated.
1863: US General Patrick Connor attacks
Shoshone community at Bear River near
Idaho. An estimated 400 Natives are
killed, most are women and children.
1868: Washita River murders: 140 Natives
die after attack by Lt. Col, George
1870: An estimated 173 Blackfeet killed
by US soldiers at Maris River, Montana
1871: 144 Apaches murdered by US
soldiers at Camp Grant, Arizona
And four days after Christmas in 1890
over 256 Lakotas were shot, bludgeoned
and stabbed to death by American
soldiers at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
There are many more instances of mass
murder of Natives by Americans,
particularly in California, a most
As with all criminal acts it is vital to
gather as many facts as possible, to
compose a narrative, to analyze the
crime scene and bring to justice those
This is essential to promote healing but
has not been done for Native victims.
The Orlando killer is dead. But for the
Native victims who were also deprived of
their lives in the most profound,
horrible manner the murders escaped
punishment and in many instances have
had their acts of depravity sanctioned
by having streets and towns named in
their perverted honor.
Such is what passes as "history" in the