Judge Richard G. Kopf – Deconstructing the Mythology of the Standing Bear Case


I agree with Judge Kopf that there is a mythology surrounding  Standing Bear v. Crook case and believe it was perpetuated by those who were “bent on publicizing the Indian cause.” I am particularly interested in how this mythology played into Elk v. Wilkins. While there is little written or known about John Elk, there was sentiment that the legal team involved in Standing Bear sought out Elk to continue the pursuit of this cause. A couple years ago, I found an article written in  “Seen & Heard” (1904) and think about it whenever I hear about either of these cases. The whole piece on both cases starts at page 4753, but the excerpt starts on page 4762 and describes what happened after Standing Bear.

After Judge Dundy’s decision, Bishop Clarkson, of Nebraska, and James Cook urged Mr. Tibbles to continue the fight. He did so with vigor, and for the next five years lectured on Indian reforms all over the United States. To push the matter still further, one Presidential election day Mr. Tibbles went to Omaha and induced John Elk, a full blooded Indian, to go to the polls and vote.

The Eagle Project and NYU Native Students to Host “Waaxe’s Law” October 11, 2012

NYU’s Native American and Indigenous Students’ Group and NYU Law’s Native American Law Students Association are pleased to announce the upcoming staged reading of Waaxe’s Law, a play based on Standing Bear v. Crook (1879); directed by Ryan V. Pierce; produced by The Eagle Project; script by Mary Kathryn Nagle

October 11th, 7 p.m. Tishman Auditorium at NYU School of Law 40 Washington Square South New York, NY 10012 Subways A/B/C/D/E/F/V to W. 4th St.

Q&A and reception to follow

Waaxe’s Law Save the Date

The Eagle Project website.