The language barrier frustrates them, and Stands With A Fist acts as an interpreter, although with difficulty.
She only remembers English from her early childhood before the rest of her family was killed during a Pawnee raid.
The film was nominated for twelve Academy Awards at the 63rd Academy Awards and won seven including Best Picture, Best Director for Costner, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, and Best Sound Mixing.
The film also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama. Choosing death in battle over amputation of his leg, he takes a horse and rides up to and along the Confederate lines.
Dunbar brings her back to the Sioux to recover, and some of the tribe begin to respect him.
Eventually, Dunbar establishes a rapport with Kicking Bird, the warrior Wind In His Hair and the youth Smiles A Lot, initially visiting each other's camps.
He recovers fully and is awarded Cisco, the horse who carried him during his suicide attempt, and his choice of posting.
Dunbar requests a transfer to the western frontier, so he can see it before it disappears.
Dunbar travels with Timmons, a mule wagon provisioner. Despite the threat of nearby native tribes, Dunbar elects to stay and man the post himself.
He begins rebuilding and restocking the fort, and prefers the solitude, recording many of his observations in his diary.