Decline & Revival (1875–present)

As the Indian Wars came to an end, American Indians struggled to settle and preserve the small territories that the U.S. government called reservations. Horses, which had become so central to our culture, were largely forbidden. The big herds were destroyed.

The government tried to sever our bonds to each other, to the land, even to the horse. These policies cost us dearly, but they did not succeed. Our tribes survive. We hold on to our reservation lands. Among many of our people horses still hold a prominent place in our world.

He means too much to us, our ‘holy dog’; the spirit that binds us could not be fully broken. The Horse Nation is our ally, now and forever.

—Emil Her Many Horses (Oglala Lakota), NMAI, 2009