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Crazy Horse Dispute : Young Sioux Sticks to Story on Ancestry

August 21, 1986|From Times Wire Services

JERUSALEM — A 13-year-old American Indian boy who has come to Israel for his Bar Mitzvah reasserted Wednesday that he is the direct descendant of Chief Crazy Horse despite reports that the legendary 19th-Century tribal leader had no children.

"Crazy Horse had a daughter," Little Sun Bordeaux of Spokane, Wash., told reporters here during a visit with his Jewish mother, Armalona Greenfield.

Little Sun--whose father, Dallas Chief Eagle Bordeaux, is a member of the Oglala Sioux Indian tribe living in Flandreau, S.D.--and his mother toured a number of historical sites in and around Jerusalem as doubts grew over his ancestry.

The boy and his mother arrived in Israel on Monday. Their plane tickets and accommodations were free, courtesy of El Al, Israel's national airline, and a Jerusalem hotel.

Upon his arrival, the airline's publicity department called him a direct descendant of Crazy Horse, who led the Sioux in the 1876 battle against Gen. George A. Custer at Little Big Horn, and said he is in line to become chief of the Oglala tribe of the Sioux.

But the executive director of the 20,000-member Oglala Sioux tribe in Pine Ridge, S.D., said Tuesday that Crazy Horse had no children.

On Wednesday, the Rev. Martin Broken Leg, a Rosebud Sioux and associate professor of Native American Studies at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., said, "I don't recall he (Crazy Horse) had any children at all."

Jim Potter, a spokesman for the Nebraska State Historical Society, said that as far as he knows, Crazy Horse had no children who lived to be adults. The chief had a daughter who is believed to have died when she was about 3, he said.

When questioned about the challenge to her son's claim, Little Sun's mother said all Oglala Sioux consider Crazy Horse their ancestor. She said the doubts being expressed stem from jealousy. "It is lies," she said. "People are jealous of our trip. Many Indian kids never get off the reservation."

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