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Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have made a move to posthumously rescind Medals of Honor awarded to U.S. soldiers who participated in the infamous 1890 Wounded Knee massacre, where an estimated 250 Native Americans – mostly women and children – were killed.
Legislation to take back the medals – the nation’s highest award for valor – was passed last week as an amendment to the fiscal 2023 defense police bill, Army Times reported.
While similar attempts have been made in the past, they were ultimately set aside during compromises between the House and Senate versions of the bill, according to the report.
Medals of Honor were given to 20 soldiers from the U.S. 7th Calvary Regiment for their actions in the Dec. 29, 1890 massacre in South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation near Wounded Knee Creek.
The U.S. government was seeking to annex the Great Sioux Reservation, a breaking of the 1868 Treaty of Laramie, which stated the tribe would settle in the Black Hills in what was then the Dakota Territory.
More than 30 soldiers died at Wounded Knee, in addition to the hundreds of Native Americans killed.
On Wounded Knee’s centenary in 1990, Congress apologized for the massacre but did not revoke the medals. In 1996, late GOP Sen. John McCain, then chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said the massacre did not warrant taking away the medals.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.