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Chief Washakie
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Native American Icon
    ( -February 20, 1900)
    Born in Wyoming
    Shoshone Indian leader
    Declared head of the Eastern Shoshones by the US Government after leading a band of Shoshones to Treaty of Fort Laramie council meetings
    Birth name is 'Pinaquanah,' which roughly translates to 'smells of sugar'
    He was a hypocrite in that he preached living in peace with the US Government but he carried on a decades long conflict with the Sioux and Cheyenne (frequently bragging about killing Crow and Blackfeet in his youth).
    One of his hobbies was hide painting.
    He was accused by many Shoshones of acting like a tyrannical dictator.
    When younger tribesmen motioned to depose him as leader, he disappeared for two months and returned with six scalps, just as proceedings to elect a successor were about to take place.
    As is the case with many early American Indian leaders, very little is known about his early life (historians pinpoint his birth year as anywhere between 1798 and 1804).
    He was responsible for uprooting the Shoshone from their home territory in the Rocky Mountains to the Wind River Valley reservations by signing the Fort Bridger Treaty (1868).
    He was a colleague of Brigham Young.
    He couldn't decide whether he wanted to be a Mormon or an Episcopal, and he was baptized twice (in 1880 and in 1897).
    President Grant awarded him a silver-lined saddle for his complicity with the government (supporting reservations, going after tribes that refused to adhere to treaties, etc).
    When General George Crook ordered Sitting Bull to be subdued in 1876, Washakie led Shoshone scouts in tracking him down.
    His warriors also sided with government troops against Crazy Horse during the Battle of Rosebud Creek.
    He was vain, fond of being the center of elaborate ceremonies and rituals in his honor.
    Depending on what birth year you go with, he likely lived close to, if not over, 100 years.
    His father was killed by Blackfeet Confederacy warriors when he was a child.
    He befriended both Indian scout, Kit Carson, and fur trader, Jim Bridger, as a young warrior.
    As a teenager, he fought alongside Sacagawea’s brother, Fires Black Gun.
    He choked up when he was presented with the silver-lined saddle from President Grant.
    After decades of compliance with the US Government, his only request was violated when the Arapaho were settled on the Wind River Reservation beside the Shoshone (he died soon after).
    He was able to make peace with the Crow, enabling his people to hunt in both the Wind River and the Big Horn valleys.
    He was a proponent of education for Native Americans, especially Shoshone girls, whom he set aside land to build a school for.
    His compliance with the military was rooted in his wish to protect the interests of his people.
    He was the only 19th Century Indian leader to be given a full military funeral.
    He was the only Indian Chief to have a US Army post named for him during the 19th Century.
    He is one of only two historical figures to represent Wyoming with a statue in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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