Sitting Bull personifies the mystery of the Indians. One of the few whites who enjoyed Sitting Bull's confidence was Father Pieter-Jan De Smet, a Jesuit from Dendermonde (Belgium) who came to rescue the Indians. The savage story of these two men is overwhelming. Karl van den Broeck goes in search of the truth behind the myth.

As a child, Karl van den Broeck played Sitting Bull who defeated General Custer. As a young boy he worked hard for the release of the native American activist Leonard Peltier. As a journalist, he soon understood that nobody is waiting for articles about the native Americans. He drew courage from the discovery that from his birthplace, Turnhout (Belgium), a daring attempt was made to save the 'Indians' in the US from extermination, and he began a "crusade" that would lead him to the crucifix that Sitting Bull received from the Belgian 'black skirt' Father De Smet. On his way, he hoped to find an answer to the question why he and we all want to save the 'Indians'.

He went to talk to Els Herten and Guido Van Meir, two Belgian activists for the 'red' case with an international impact. Finally he traveled to the States. There he found the Cross of Sitting Bull, but he also stumbled on a forgotten 'Belgian' pedophilia scandal.

Team members

Karl van den Broeck

Karl van den Broeck (1966) was head of the culture department at the Belgian newspaper De Morgen and chief editor of the news magazine Knack. Now he's chief editor of the independent news site for investigative journalism Apache.be and he organizes debates on culture and society at BOZAR. In 2014 he published 'The real father of the pill', about doctor Nand Peeters.

A working grant of € 5.000 allocated on 1/10/2013.


Titel: Why I want to save the Indians (Waarom ik de Indianen wil redden)
Ondertitel: In search of the cross of Sitting Bull (Op zoek naar het kruis van Sitting Bull)
Author: Karl van den Broeck
Publisher: Polis
ISBN: 9789463100861
Price: €19,95
Date of publication: 2/05/2016


Het verdriet van Pater De Smet, Apache.be, 06/05/2016


  • Ugh! - Interne Keuken, Radio 1, 30/01/2016
  • Ugh! (bis) - Interne Keuken, Radio 1, 7/05/2016

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