The Woodward News

October 23, 2012

Historic site hosting special program

Gary Engel
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — CHEYENNE - An upcoming program at the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site is set to highlight the life of Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux Tribal Chief Sitting Bull.

The presentation will be made by Sitting Bull's great-grandson, Ernie LaPointe.

The free program will be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 3 in the site's visitor center gallery, which is located about a mile west of Cheyenne on State Highway 47A.  No reservations are required to attend the program.


Washita's Chief of Interpretation Frank Torres said LaPointe has spent many years working to determine lineal traces through genealogical and DNA research.

"He will recount family stories and illustrate the famous leader's life," Torres said.

He said in 2009, LaPointe completed a book, "Sitting Bull: His Life and Legacy." The 160-page hardcover is available at the national historical site's bookstore.

"The book reveals the rich oral history of Sitting Bull's family, stories about his childhood, and his reputation as a fierce warrior," Torres said.

He said he didn't think the great-grandson had the opportunity to meet Sitting Bull.

"I think LaPointe goes over that in the book, and that he will touch on it during the program," he said.

Since the book, Torres said LaPointe has been working on a documentary sharing more that he has learned about Sitting Bull's family tree.

"I think LaPointe will say when the documentary is expected to be finished and where it can be seen when he is here for the Nov. 3 event," he said.


Torres said LaPointe's presentation was scheduled to tie in with the upcoming 144th anniversary of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer's attack on the Cheyenne village of Peace Chief Black Kettle along the Washita River on Nov. 27, 1868.  More than 100 Southern Cheyennes were killed by the 7th U.S. Cavalry as part of the attack.

"LaPointe's program will additionally give insight into genealogical and DNA methods of tracing someone's family lineage, as well as showing all the connections of the Great Plains tribes," Torres said.

He is inviting anyone with an interest in tracking family roots to attend to learn more about the process from LaPointe.

"I'm expecting a big crowd," Torres said.

For more information, contact Torres at (580) 497-2942, Extension 3003, or go to the park's website,