Once known as Custer Battlefield National Monument, the law renamed the site Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and also called for the design, construction and maintenance of a memorial to recognize the Indians who fought to preserve their land and culture in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument commemorates one of American's most significant and famous battles, where two divergent cultures clashed in a life or death struggle. Four hundred years of conflict between Euro-Americans and Native Americans culminated on this ground and resulted in the defeat of 12 companies of Seventh Cavalry by Lakota (Sioux) Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors.
In 1881 a memorial was erected on Last Stand Hill, over the mass grave of the Seventh Cavalry soldiers, U.S. Indian Scouts, and other personnel killed in battle. Today, many visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield that honors the U.S. Army's roll. The fallen Lakota and Cheyenne warriors were removed by their families and buried in the Native American tradition in teepees or tree-scaffolds in the nearby Little Bighorn Valley. Until this event, no memorial has paid tribute to the Native Americans who struggled to preserve and defend their homeland and traditional way of life. Their heroic sacrifices were never formally recognized until now.