Satanta, the revered Kiowa chief, fought, then tried, then died on the white road. As 1870 approaches, he speaks his poignant truths to Indian Agent Lawrie Tatum, a well-meaning but ultimately powerless Indian Agent…
I have heard that you intend to settle us on a reservation near the mountains. I don’t want to settle. I love to roam over the prairies. There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die. I have laid aside my lance, bow, and shield, and yet I feel safe in your presence. I have told you the truth. I have no little lies hid about me, but I don’t know how it is with the commissioners. Are they as clear as I am? A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers; but when I go up to the river I see soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down my timber; they kill my buffalo; and when I see that, my heat feels like bursting; I feel sorry… Has the white man become a child that he should recklessly kill and not eat? When the red men slay game, they do so that they may live and not starve.
Chief of the Kiowas