When people think back to the 1880s they think it’s so far away. Yet when you think about it, it’s really not its only 3-4 generations. In this essay i will give my argument on why the indians were viewed wrong because the way they were thrown around from territory to territory. I will be using the Indian Appropriations Act , the Dawes Act , and the Indian Removal Act. These 3 acts are why today we have indian reservations and why they are where they are. I will be writing these from the perspectives of an indian.
The Indian Removal Act, was signed by President Jackson on May 28, 1830, it was a legal maneuver that gave him the power to make treaties with every tribe east of the Mississippi, basically forcing all of us to surrender our lands in exchange for territory in the West. The ones who stayed in their original regions were hassled by the government to give away their large areas of the land they had once controlled and were given land in small geographically isolated areas so we were no longer a threat to the white man. Since then tens of thousands of Native Americans have been relocated to Indian Territory . Some our tribes left without conflict, yet many were driven out by force from our ancestral land. Most members of our nation the Cherokee Nation were forcibly removed from parts of what the white man call North Carolina and Alabama. Many of our brethren became ill and thousands died during the long walk to the indian territory.
The Indian Appropriations Act of 1851 authorized the creation of Indian areas. Our native peoples were again forced to move to even smaller reservations. The U.S. government had promised to support the relocated of our tribal members with food and other supplies, but their commitments went unfulfilled, and our ability to hunt, fish and gather food is severely restricted. Illness, starvation, and depression remained a constant for many, including my brothers Running Deer and Little Bear . In addition to being moved to reservations, we have been subjected to an organized school structure where they take they basically force feeding their culture to the young ones. They made these Indian boarding schools they were made with the intent of making our children the white man’s children. Teaching them American culture and attempt to get rid of our history and tradition. On top of being separated from their families and communities for long periods of time, the schools forbid the children from speaking their tribal languages. And are required them to wear American dress and hairstyles, and encouraged them to abandon their native religion for Christianity.
The Dawes Act of 1887 was created to further motivate our kind to transition into the American culture. The act is supported by the American-held ideal of individual ownership of private property, rather than the communal tradition of our indigenous peoples. Now, reservation land can be divided into small plots for each individual Indians and his family. The law also changed the legal status of our tribal members to individuals subject to federal laws and terminated many tribal affiliations.
Near the end of his life, Red Cloud, one of the most important Lakota leaders of the 19th century and a veteran of treaty negotiations, recounted his experience dealing with the U.S. government over disputed lands: “They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.” Red cloud was apart of all 3 of these historical events. Not in one of them did he come out with something that was promised. This shows just how power hungry the US was and how they were ready to do whatever they had just to get a little bit more land.