Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee Massacre Soldiers May Be Rescinded

Lawmakers took a step final week in direction of taking again the nation’s highest award for valor from Military troops who perpetrated one of the vital notorious American Indian massacres in U.S. historical past.

The laws to revoke the medals handed the Home of Representatives as an modification to the fiscal 2023 protection coverage invoice. Related makes an attempt have made it this far earlier than, nonetheless, solely to be stymied throughout compromises between the Home and Senate variations of the invoice.

Some 20 troopers obtained the Medal of Honor following the Dec. 29, 1890, battle turned bloodbath close to Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota, the place troops from the seventh Cavalry and accompanying artillery items killed lots of of Lakota males, girls and kids.

The U.S. troops had almost accomplished confiscating weapons from a Lakota encampment when a battle with a reportedly deaf man sparked a chaotic one-sided firefight.

When the smoke cleared, dozens of cavalry troopers lay wounded or killed, some by pleasant fireplace — doubtless from their artillery — and lots of of Lakota had been lifeless.

Rep. Kaialiʻi Kahele, D-Hawaii, was the laws’s major sponsor, although different members of Congress, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Reuben Gallego, D-Ariz., have pushed for related laws up to now. Kahele is a Native Hawaiian.

Dubbed the “Take away the Stain Act,” the laws’s advocates, which embrace greater than a dozen American Indian tribes and teams, say it’s a long-overdue step to proper a historic improper.

“As Congress continues to think about the FY23 NDAA, a very powerful protection legislative automobile that’s debated every year, we should remind ourselves of the uncomfortable fact that this land – the US – was taken from indigenous peoples,” stated Kahele in a press launch. “Though we are able to by no means undo the irreparable harm inflicted on indigenous peoples, we are able to do our greatest to respect their lands, empower our communities and acknowledge the reality behind our shared historical past.”

The Senate is but to move its model of the protection coverage invoice, and the 2 homes of Congress must agree on a compromise model of the laws. If Kahele’s modification survives the compromise course of, it is going to mark the success of a decades-long effort from American Indian advocacy teams and different members of Congress.

Congress formally apologized for the bloodbath in 1990, close to its one hundredth anniversary, however didn’t rescind the medals then.

However that’s removed from sure. Beforehand, the act handed as a part of the Home’s fiscal 2022 protection coverage invoice, however didn’t make it into the ultimate compromise laws.

Navy Instances deputy editor Leo Shane III contributed to this report.

Initially revealed by Navy Instances, our sister publication.