RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — It took 14 years, but DNA was able to confirm that Ernie LaPointe of South Dakota is Sitting Bull’s great-grandson.
A news release from EurekAlert! and a report from CBS said it took 14 years to extract useable DNA from a segment of Sitting Bull’s hair that was once in the Smithsonian Museum. LaPointe, 74, has long identified as Sitting Bull’s great-grandson. He and his sisters were able to obtain Sitting Bull’s hair from the Smithsonian in 2007.
The family has wanted to move Sitting Bull’s remains from Mobridge to the Battle of Little Bighorn site in Montana.
Sitting Bull was instrumental in organizing tribes in the defeat of Gen. George Custer and the Cavalry in 1876 at Little Bighorn.
LaPointe has lectured, talked and written books about Sitting Bull over the years.
LaPointe said in the news release that “over the years, many people have tried to question the relationship that I and my sisters have to Sitting Bull.”
LaPointe had told CBS News he wasn’t sure the DNA method would work. LaPointe said he had oral history and ceremonial information which had confirmed his relationship to Sitting Bull.