Smithsonian Channel will premiere Battle of Little Big Horn this January, chronicling the late 19th century clash on Montana’s Little Bighorn River.
On June 25, 1876, Hunkpapa Lakota Chief Sitting Bull and thousands of Native Americans were attacked by General George Custer’s 7th Cavalry as they camped on the banks of the river. Vastly outnumbered, Custer’s entire regiment was wiped out. A nationwide media storm ensued.
The Biscuit Factory-produced Battle of Little Big Horn traces the events leading up to Bighorn — broken treaties, stolen lands and the threat of government initiatives targeting the assimilation of the Lakota Sioux and other Native American tribes.
Battle of Big Little Horn uncovers how tabloid news coverage of the battle turned the U.S. Cavalry’s loss at Bighorn into an “unstoppable mythos” while fueling stereotyped depictions of Native Americans that persist today.
The film draws inspiration from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s exhibition Americans, and features interviews with three of the museum’s curators: David Penney, Emil Her Man Horses and Cécile Ganteaume. It also visits the National Museum of Natural History’s National Anthropological Archives to examine original drawings created by Lakota Chief Red Horse.
Battle of Big Little Horn premieres Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.