U.S. government policies and westward expansion lead to tragic consequences for American Indians.
In the 1880s, after the U. S. Army's defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the government continues to push Sioux Indians off their land. In Washington, D.C., Senator Henry Dawes (Aidan Quinn) introduces legislation to protect Native Americans rights. In South Dakota, schoolteacher Elaine Goodale (Anna Paquin) joins Sioux native and Western-educated Dr. Charles Eastman in working with tribe members. Meanwhile, Lakota Chief Sitting Bull refuses to give into mounting government pressures.