MARCH 17, 1903


The grandson of the Miniconjou head man Lame Deer and born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, Lame Deer’s life as a young man was rough and wild.  He traveled the rodeo circuit as a rider and later as a rodeo clown. Lame Deer became known both among the Lakota and to the American public at a time when indigenous culture and spirituality were going through a period of rebirth in the 1960s.  He often participated in American Indian Movement events, including sit-ins at the Black Hills.  In 1972, Richard Erdoes published Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions. The book is about Lame Deer’s later life, when he decided that he wanted to be a teacher and a healer. Erdoes wrote of Lame Deer’s opinions of Elk, Bear, Buffalo, Coyote, and Badger medicine and the importance Lakota ceremonial traditions played in his later life and eventual understanding of the world. Lame Deer died December 14, 1976, on the Rosebud Reservation.

Source:  “John Fire—Lame Deer,” Akta Lakota Museum, 3/16/2017.  Retrieved 1/14/2020,
Graphic:  Elevatorrailfan, 2/10/2016.  Flag of the Rosebud Indian Reservation.  Permissive Use.

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