Native Americans Under Siege: 1854-1890 Organized into tribes, which were usually subdivided into "bands" of about 500 men and women, each with a governing council. Women assumed domestic & artistic roles, while men hunted, traded, and supervised religious & military life. Each tribe’s warrior class competed with others to demonstrate bravery. Never successfully united politically or militarily against white power, thus contributing to their defeat by the white society. 1851: Concentration Policy - US government tried to concentrate Native Americans into areas north & south of those intended for white settlement. 1860s: Relocation Policy – Native Americans were herded into still smaller areas o Sioux "guaranteed" sanctuary of Black Hills in Dakota Territory. o Other tribes relocated to "Indian Territory" (present-day Oklahoma) o Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior was put in charge of the reservations. 1854-1890: Near constant warfare raged in West between Native Americans & whites. o US troops were largely Civil War veterans. o 1/5 of all soldiers assigned to frontier were black (Buffalo Soldiers) o Led by Sherman, Sheridan, & Custer. November 1864: Colonel John Chivington’s militia massacred more than 200 Indians who had just signed a peace treaty with the US government 1874: Gold was discovered in the Black Hills of South Dakota. May 1875: Sioux leaders traveled to Washington, DC in order to persuade the government to honor existing treaties November 1875: Sioux were ordered to return to their reservation. February 1876: The matter was turned over to the US army. June1876: Battle of Little Big Horn o Colonel George Custer’s forces clashed with nearly 4000 well armed warriors led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull o Custer, along with more than 250 of his men were killed o US reinforcements chased Sitting Bull to Canada where he received political asylum; hunger forced them to return & surrender by 1876. 1855: Nez Perce ceded much land to US in return for large reservation in Oregon and Idaho; later ceded more lands when gold was discovered. June 1877: US government ordered the Nez Perce to move to a reservation in Idaho. o Nez Perce, led by Chief Joseph, began a 75-day, 1300 mile trek; forced to surrender 40 miles south of the Canadian border October 1877: Nez Perce were moved south to a malaria infested camp in Kansas before their final relocation in Oklahoma 1874: US government ordered the Apache onto a reservation in San Carlos, Arizona o About ½ of the Indians, led by Geronimo, escaped to Mexico o Throughout the 1870s & early 1880, Geronimo raided settlements on both sides of the US-Mexican border 1884: Geronimo surrendered to the US army o 1885: Geronimo, along with a small band of warriors & their families escaped again 1886: Geronimo & his followers were captured & held as prisoners of war in Florida 1894: Geronimo was sent to Fort Still, Oklahoma Last major clash between US troops & Native Americans Issue: The US army was sent to end sacred "Ghost Dance" performed by Dakota Sioux. o Believers expected the white man to disappear from Native lands & for the buffalo to return in abundance. o Indian agents feared it was a prelude to an attack. • They ordered Sitting Bull’s arrest. • He, along with 6 policemen & 7 supporters died in the mayhem that followed. • His supporters fled. December 29: The Dakota Sioux were intercepted on the edge of the Wounded Knee Creek. o The US Army ordered the Sioux to surrender their o o o o weapons. Yellow Bird began to perform the Ghost Dance. Black Coyote, who was deaf, refused to surrender his rifle which discharged. Within minutes, 200 Sioux were dead. The US Army then went after the fleeing women & children, killing them as well. National sentiment began to urge reform toward Native Americans. o 1881: Helen Hunt Jackson: A Century of Dishonor • Chronicled the record of government ruthlessness & deceit toward Native Americans • Had similar emotional impact of Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin • Inspired the movement to assimilate Native Americans "for their own good." Provisions: o Dissolved many tribes as legal entities. o Wiped out tribal ownership of land. o Set up individual Native American family heads with allotment of 160 free acres. o Allowed for US citizenship in 25 years. Results o Army-style boarding schools were set up where Indians prohibited to exercise any portion of their culture. o 2/3 of Indians’ remaining land was lost. o Remained official Indian policy until 1934. o Helped Indian population to grow from about 243,000 in 1887 to 1.5 million in 1990.