Ernie LaPonite, confirmed to be relative to Sitting Bull

WATERTOWN, S.D.(KXLG)- Recently in the news you may have heard the name Ernie LaPonite. It has now been confirmed he is a direct descendant of the Lakota warrior Sitting Bull.

Ernie, 73, who identifies as a member of the Lakota Tribe has been working on the authentication process since 2003. The Smithsonian Museum alone has spent 4 years authenticating the paperwork.

Ernie who resides in Lead, SD gave KXLG an exclusive interview on the process it took to get authentication.

Ernie explains the process it took to get permission to perform the necessary DNA testing.

Ernie stated the Smithsonian has coated the hair in cyanide to help preserve it part of which took so long to test properly.

It took quite awhile from the beginning to get the final confirmation.

Sitting Bull, whose given name is Tatanka Iyotake (eo-talk-e), translates translates into approximately “buffalo who set himself to watch over the herd” helped lead some 1,000 Native Americans in a resistance against a takeover by the United States in the mid- to late 19th century. It occurred, famously, during the Battle of Little Bighorn, a k a Custer’s Last Stand (and, to the Lakota and other Plains Indians, The Battle of Greasy Grass), in 1876, on what is now Montana land. Now, some 145 years later Ernie has confirmed he a great grandson to Sitting Bull.

For the full Interview with Ernie find the article on