Brother of a powerful Ponca chief, who was arrested and killed by U.S. troops for exercising the legal right to travel across the country and join his people in Nebraska. Big Snake’s death—supposedly an accident, but quite possibly murder—sent a message to the Ponca tribe that the United States wouldn’t permit Native Americans to exercise their freedoms, even if their own laws allowed them to do so.
The timeline below shows where the character Big Snake appears in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15: Standing Bear Becomes a Person