Bernie Taupin, the lyricist, takes artistic licence and changes history, such as how Apache leader Geronimo died in 1909. But Sir Elton delivers a lengthy story, told as if he was Native American, about colonization. Culturally, the US policy was assimilation, and economically and socially, native Americans were relocated to new “homes” by law, beginning in 1830. Resistance was frequently violent, and the various conflicts are informally known as the Indian Wars, which could be said to have led to treaties and the setting up of reservations. The song’s sunset is a metaphor for the end, though over the next century or so, Native Americans, through political activism, have done much to demonstrate and gain respect.
For a less respectable take on Native Americans: Europe – Cherokee