- Characters (in credits' order)
Norman Zigrossi: Former Assistant FBI Regional Head, South Dakota
Robert Sikma: Former Assistant U.S. Attorney
Darelle 'Dino' Butler
Duane Brewer: Former Goon Squad Member
Calvin Jumping Bull
William Muldrow: U.S. Government Commission on Civil Rights
Dennis Banks: Co-Founder American Indian Movement
James Abourezk: Former U.S. Senator, South Dakota
Sam Loud Hawk
Richard Wilson: Tribal Council Chairman (archive footage)
Severt Young Bear
John Trudell: National Spokesperson, American Indian Movement
Kenneth Tilsen: Wounded Knee Defense Attorney
Russell Means: Co-Founder American Indian Movement (archive footage)
William Kunstler: Wounded Knee Defense Attorney
William Janklow: Former Governor, South Dakota
Deborah White Plume
Bernice White Hawk
Jeanette Eagle Hawk
Beau Little Sky
Madonna Thunder Hawk
Wallace Little Jr.
Kenny Loud Hawk
Russell Loud Hawk
Edward McManus: Butler-Robideau Trial Judge
Bruce Ellison: Defense Attorney
John Lowe: Attorney for Bob Robideau and Leonard Peltier (blue eyes)
Robert Bolin: Jury Foreman, Butler-Robideau Trial
Lynn Crooks: Assistant U.S. Attorney
Evan Hultman: Former U.S. Attorney
Myrtle Poor Bear
Warren Allmand:Former Minister for Indian & Northern Affairs, Canada
Gerald Heaney: Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
Robert Ecoffey: Investigator, Bureau of Indian Affairs Police
Clarence Kelly: Director of the F.B.I. (archive footage)
Marquetta Peltier: Daughter of Leonard Peltier
Robert Redford: Narrator (voice)
- 0:00:00 Scene Analyses
- 0:00:01 Brief Overview of the Incident (Butler, Robideau, Zigrossi, Nilak Butler, Sikma, Blacksmith, Brewer)
- Brief shots of the different actors stating the main point of their stories that will be developed later in the film. Panoramic shots of the reservation.
- 0:03:00 Why the Agents are on the Reservation (Zigrossi, Sikma)
- (Voiceover) "On June 26, 1975, Coler and Williams, two FBI agents assigned to the Pine Ridge Reservation were investigating the whereabouts of a young Indian, Jimmy Eagle, who was wanted for the theft of a pair of cowboy boots." Zigrossi explains that the two agents had a warrant and they were following Eagle all the way to the Jumping Bull complex. Sikma adds that agent Adams had his radio on and he said that it looked like the other FBI agents were not going to stop. They were going to shoot Eagle.
- 0:04:11 Shots Fired (Butler, Zigrossi, Robideau, Brown)
- Butler points towards the camp and describes how he heard the shots that morning. Zigrossi recounts how a group of men (4-8) opened fire on the two agents, who were driving in separate cars. Robideau and Brown, who was 15 at the time of the shoot-out, describe what they saw when they got there.
- 0:05:25 American Indians Fire Back (Robideau, Peltier, Zigrossi, Sikma, Brown)
- They describe the shooting. Robideau and Peltier state that the two FBI agents started shooting. Sikma mentions that when Special Agent Adams is approaching the site his voice comes on the radio. He says he is under heavy gunfire. Brown shots the tire of the approaching car. Robideau, Brown, and Peltier decide to approach the car, but when they were half way they heard several shots had been fired.
- 0:07:55 Murder of Agents Williams and Coler (Sikma, Robideau, Brown, Peltier, Brewer)
- Sikma provides a detailed account of how Coler and Williams died. When Robideau, Brown, and Peltier got to the cars and saw that both individuals were dead, they realized that their lives "had been transformed and that they could only look forward to death." Butler describes how they were soon surrounded. Brewer says that in the gunfire, Joe, a 21-year-old Native American was killed. The Native Americans went back to the camp to try to figure out what to do next. Brown mentions that they experienced a sense of loss and that they prayed for Joe's spirit so that it had a good journey. Image of an eagle flying over the reservation while a radio announcement refers to the gunfire that had taken place in Wounded Knee.
- 0:10:48 Violence and Conditions on the Reservation (Muldrow, Banks, Abourezk, Hawk, Wilson, Bear, Trudell)
- Brief information about the trial stating who was sentenced for the murder of the two agents. There was no trial to find out who shot Joe. Image of Calvin Jumping Bull singing. long shot of buffaloes and texts referring to the Sioux: "Some 10,000 LAKOTA SIOUX lived on the PINE RIDGE RESERVATION during the 1970s. In the years prior to the Shoot Out At Jumping Bull in 1975, the Reservation had the highest murder Rate per capita in the United States." Six characters refer to the poverty of Pine Ridge and to the tribal division.
- 0:14:20 Dick Wilson (Wilson, Muldrow, Peltier, Hawk)
- They refer to the corrupted government of Dick Wilson, a mixed-blood American Indian, who misused federal funds.
- 0:15:50 American Indian Movement (Bear, Muldrow, Butler, Banks, Abourezk, Trudell)
- Characters give pieces of information about how the American Indian Movement started, their internal struggles, their protest in DC, and how the government had already brought heavy weaponry into the region even before the Wounded Knee incident as if they had already chosen the grounds to have the stand-off.
- 0:17:50 Occupying Wounded Knee (Abourezk, Tilsen, Means, Kunstler, Trudell, Muldrow)
- A small group of Native Americans occupied Wounded Knee in 1973. Images of the 1890 Massacre. Native Americans felt they would have nothing left if they did not demand the restoration of broken treaties. Images of Native Americans with guns and rifles and of the massive display of governmental weaponry. The seizure ended after 71 days. Images of protesters asking the government to drop the charges against numerous Native Americans who have been arrested unfairly.
- 0:21:49 Reign of Terror (Trudell, Janklow, Muldrow, Brewer)
- Trudell refers to the 1973-75 period as the "reign of terror" when the highest number of violent deaths occurred in the reservation caused by the "Goons," death squads of the Wilson administration. Brewer, a former Goon, explains his reason for being part of the squad.
- 0:23:33 Deborah White Plume
- Plume describes how her family was attacked by the Goons.
- 0:24:54 Bernice White Hawk
- Hawk mentions that three of her family got killed by the Goons.
- 0:25:08 Jeanette Eagle Hawk
- Hawk's son was killed by the Goons.
- 0:25:31 Beau Little Sky
- The Goons killed Sky's friends and his grandparents.
- 0:25:55 Madonna Thunder Hawk
- Hawk explains that shoot-outs were very common.
- 0:26:09 Wanblee (Muldrow)
- Neither the police nor the FBI interfered in the shoot-outs, even if they were called when a shoot-out started in Wanblee.
- 0:26:51 Need to Protect the Community (Little, Jr., Muldrow, Trudell, Peltier, Butler, Nilak Butler, Robideau, Blacksmith, Hawk)
- The government sided with Wilson. Characters describe the constant fear in which Native Americans, especially those who belonged to the AIM, lived during those years.
- 0:29:37 John Trudell: Victim of Violence
- Trudell's wife, mother-in-law, and three children were killed and his house was burned down.
- 0:30:23 Unsolved
- Many murders were committed in this three-year period, and it was in this violent atmosphere that the Jumping Bull shoot-out took place.
- 0:30:38 Intent to Destroy (Robideau)
- Robideau mentions the intent that the FBI and other political forces had in destroying them.
- 0:31:12 Government’s Response (Zigrossi)
- Images of the display of governmental agents after the two FBI agents had been killed. Zigrossi mentions that there were over 350 agents in a very small area
- 0:31:45 American Indians’ Escape (Robideau, Peltier, Brown, Butler N., Butler, Kenny Loud Hawk, Wounded)
- Peltier mentions that when they saw the FBI agents surround the town, they sat to pray. An eagle appeared, and then they ran to the top of the nearest hill. Hawk led them to his grandfather's house, who seemed to have been waiting for them.
- 0:34:34 Cops Search Continues (Lou Bean, Billy Bean, Peltier, Russel Loud Hawk)
- Lou Bean asked Billy to take them out of the house because it was very dangerous to keep them in their house. They describe how the FBI were looking for them all over the States.
- 0:35:54 Wilson on TV (Wilson)
- Wilson states that he has means to find and punish the murderers even if the FBI fails.
- 0:36:10 Arrests of Dino Butler, Bob Robideau, and Leonard Peltier (Ellison)
- Description of how and where Butler, Robideau, and Peltier were arrested.
- 0:36:57 Trial of Butler and Robideau (McManus)
- Butler and Robideau were in jail till their trial. They were waiting for Peltier, who had been arrested in Canada.
- 0:37:39 Defense’s Concerns (Ellison)
- Images of protesters asking for Bob and Dino's freedom. Ellison was concerned that the two long-haired AIM members were going to be judged in a pretty conservative working-class white community. He feared Robideau and Butler would not count with much support or solidarity.
- 0:38:10 Dehumanization (Butler)
- The trial took place in Iowa in 1976. Butler's wife and her children were asked to wait behind a building because they didn't want the jury to see Native American women and children showing their support.
- 0:38:57 Campaign of Terror (Butler)
- US Marshals and FBI agents were warning people not to leave their cars unlocked or go places by themselves because two AIM members were on trial and other AIM members could cause problems in the area.
- 0:39:18 Defense Attorney (Lowe, Butler)
- Lowe makes reference to the overwhelming evidence that the FBI had presented.
- 0:40:36 Major Evidence (Zigrossi)
- The major evidence was the cartridges that had been used had been found at the scene and came from the subjects' weapons.
- 0:40:48 Prosecution’s Attempt (Bolin)
- There was no evidence to prove that what remained from the bullets matched the guns the subjects had shot.
- 0:41:15 Witnesses (Sikma, Lowe, Brown, Bolin, Kunstler)
- Witnesses have been intimidated. Brown accused Bob and Dino because he'd been threatened. Kunstler mentions that there were hundreds of bullet shells left behind and that it was very difficult to pinpoint which had been fired from the subjects' guns.
- 0:43:09 James Harper (Ellison, Butler, Sikma)
- Harper had spent a night in prison with Butler where Butler had confessed his crime and his future plans to him.
- 0:44:22 Harper’s Landlady (Lowe, Ellison, Bolin)
- Harper's landlady appeared in court and stated that she knew Harper's story was a lie and that he was a fugitive felon.
- 0:45:13 Case of Self Defense (Kunstler, Crooks, Bolin, Sikma, Hultman)
- Kunstler justifies the shoot-out by stating that there was fear in the reservation and when they saw two cars rushing in, they just shot to protect themselves. Crooks claims there was no reason to shoot the two agents who ignored how many people there were on the hills and what kind of weaponry they had. The Attorneys discuss the appropriateness (or not) of claiming self-defense.
- 0:47:50 Verdict (Lowe, Butler, Kunstler, Robideau, Bolin, Sikma, McManus)
- The verdict was "not guilty." Seven actors mention how they felt at that moment.
- 0:50:09 Hope for Peltier’s Acquittal (Nika Butler, Peltier)
- As Dino and Bob have been found not guilty, the AIM members thought Peltier had a good chance of not being convicted.
- 0:50:51 “Girlfriend” Testifies against Peltier (Peltier, Lowe, Myrtle Poor Bear)
- Peltier is surprised when he hears that his girlfriend is testifying against him since she was not at the camp when the incident occurred. The FBI threatened and forced Myrtle Poor Bear to testify against Peltier. The first Affidavit states that Poor Bear was not in Jumping Bull while the second claims that Poor Bear was there and that she saw Peltier shoot the agents.
- 0:52:35 Anne Mae Aquash as Leverage against Myrtle Poor Bear (Lowe, Myrtle Poor Bear)
- The FBI used photos of Anne Mae Aquash, an AIM member who had been recently shot, to threaten Poor Bear.
- 0:53:19 Third Affidavit used to Extradite Peltier (Lowe)
- A more detailed Affidavit is produced in order to extradite Peltier from Canada.
- 0:53:46 Checking Affidavit’s Reliability (Zigrossi, Lowe, Hultman, Crooks, Poor Bear, Allmand)
- The FBI checked the fingerprints taken in Jumping Bull Complex, and none corresponded to Poor Bear's ,so there was no physical evidence to support the Affidavit's detailed description. Poor Bear didn't know what Peltier looked like till she saw him at the courtroom. Allmand states that without those fake affidavits Peltier would not have been extradited.
- 0:56:45 Footage of Peltier’s Arrest
- Images of Peltier boarding a helicopter to go back to the States.
- 0:56:59 Perjured Affidavits (Trudell)
- Trudell states that the perjured Affidavits was what gave the Canadian government the "rationalization" to send Peltier back to the United States.
- 0:57:27 Judge McManus (Ellison, Kunstler, Lowe)
- The case was "mysteriously taken away from Judge McManus and transferred to South Dakota."
- 0:58:10 Peltier Portrayed as Leader of Indian Movement (Peltier, Crooks, Sigma)
- Peltier is depicted as a murderer and as the leader of AIM, though there is not much evidence to support such an idea.
- 0:58:38 Examining the Loss of the First Two Trials (Lowe)
- Lowe explains that the FBI has lost the first two trials due to lack of evidence.
- 0:59:03 Aiding and Abetting Theory Changed to Principle Theory (Peltier, Lowe, X, Kunstler)
- Since the FBI couldn't prove that Peltier had shot the agents at close range and that it was not in self-defense, they had to adopt a different theory.
- 1:00:05 Michael Anderson Comes to the Rescue (Lowe, Ellison)
- Anderson testifies that he was on the roof of a house and that he saw Peltier shooting the agents.
- 1:00:57 Cartridge Casing Evidence (Lowe, Ellison)
- The FBI produced a cartridge that was found in the trunk of the car and that matched Peltier's weapon.
- 1:02:06 Hopelessness of Trial (Butler, Tilsen, Peltier)
- Butler, X, and Peltier describe the tense atmosphere of the court.
- 1:02:33 Peltier Pays (Peltier, Kunstler, Crooks)
- After seeing the color pictures of the bloody autopsy, the jury believed that somebody had to pay.
- 1:03:38 Sentencing (Peltier)
- Peltier was given 30 days before being sentenced. Due to his anger and frustration at the US justice, Peltier prepared a statement.
- 1:04:08 Peltier’s Letter (Peltier)
- Peltier reads his letter that accuses the US justice of being discriminatory against Native Americans.
- 1:05:01 Sentencing (Voiceover)
- In 1977, Peltier was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in federal prison. Five years later Peltier appeals his conviction arguing that the court had withheld importance evidence at the trial.
- 1:05:15 Request for Evidentiary Hearing (Heaney, Kunstler, Ellison)
- Peltier requests an evidentiary hearing so that all the ballistic evidence is disclosed.
- 1:06:31 AR-15 and Casing (Peltier, Ellison)
- Peltier and X explain the casing and matching procedure and state that no conclusive evidence can be reached since the gun was badly damaged.
- 1:07:40 October 2nd Teletype (Peltier, Ellison, Lowe)
- Peltier, Ellison, and Lowe refer to the extensive documentation on the matching of the firing pin to Peltier's AR-15 and clearly state that the case found in the trunk of the FBI vehicle didn't match Peltier's gun.
- 1:09:10 Evidentiary Hearing (Crooks, Ellison)
- Ellison refers to the FBI desperate attempts to find a match between different shell cases and the gun that Peltier was supposed to fire.
- 1:11:09 Refusal to Overturn Conviction (Heaney)
- The new evidence was not enough to call a new trial.
- 1:11:51 Remaining Questions (voiceover)
- The main remaining question is what vehicle the FBI agents followed onto the complex.
- 1:12:05 Red Van Story (Kunstler, Peltier, Sikma)
- The first reports mention a truck, or a red jeep, and then they changed the story to a red van, which Peltier owned.
- 1:13:08 Everything Suggests it was a Red Pickup Truck (Lowe, Ecoffey, Sikma, Crooks, Ellison)
- Ecoffey mentions they were after Eagle's red pickup truck, not Peltier's van. Discussion of the distorted way the FBI used the term "pickup" to justify Anderson's testimony.
- 1:15:31 Mike Anderson’s Testimony about the Vehicle (Ellison, Lowe)
- Lowe refers to how Anderson's story changed so that the FBI could use it as evidence.
- 1:16:28 Mike Anderson’s Whereabouts During the Incident (Butler, Bordeaux, Lowe, X)
- Butler and Bordeaux saw Anderson at the camp. Anderson was being threatened by the FBI. "Mike Anderson was killed in an alcohol related car accident in 1978, approximately one year after Leonard Peltier's trial." (1:17:25)
- 1:17:30 Resolving the Contention (Lowe, Ellison, Kunstler, Crooks)
- They talk about the inconsistencies about the red vehicle.
- 1:20:00 Justice (Butler)
- Butler questions if there's justice since he was acquitted and Peltier was convicted for the same case.
- 1:20:20 Mr. X Admits to the Murder (Robideau)
- In 1989 Mr. X admitted killing the agents. Mr. X was going to deliver explosives to the Complex; the FBI agents followed the pickup. When they got out of the pickup, the agents shot at them, and they shot back. Then, they returned to the pickup and drove off because they were carrying dynamite. Another pickup drove to the site, and the driver shot the agents because the individuals pointed at him.
- 1:23:23 Peltier Confirms Mr. X’s Story (Peltier)
- Peltier says that he didn't ask Mr. X to confess.
- 1:24:22 Is Mr. X Real? (Crooks)
- Mr. X has not revealed his identity yet and thus he cannot be taken seriously.
- 1:24:41 Peltier’s Daughter Talking about Mr. X (Marquetta Peltier)
- Marquetta Peltier says her father knows who Mr. X is, but he won't accuse one of his brothers.
- 1:25:00 Final Thoughts: Guilty or Innocent (Trudell, Zigrossi, Robideau, Hultman, Butler, Peltier)
- They make final comments about the verdict and what the future holds for Peltier and for the Native Americans.