The first peoples of the America's lived, hunted and cared for the lands in the America's for tens of thousands of years prior to European plantations. With these Plantations, Native Peoples were transplanted, moved or killed in order for the new arrivals to create nations. The treaties these nations signed with the native peoples fell aside and the european plantations expanded. Expansion across the continents created pockets of habitation and marginalized the once prosperous Native, indígenas, Aborigen, Amerindian, Guianas, Aboriginal, First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and Alaskan Natives.
In the US, colonization and western expansion created conflict between the Native Peoples and settlers.
As colonization began along the coasts of the US Native populations plummeted. The Colonists brought with them diseases that these populations had no resistance to. The tribal members who were not killed off were assimilated by other tribal communities.
At the end of the Civil War and the completion of Transcontinental Railroad,there were a number of Indian Wars. Over time, the United States forced a series of treaties and land cessions by the tribes and established reservations for them in many western states. In 1924, American Indians who were not already U.S. citizens were granted citizenship by Congress.
The Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears was the forced relocation of American Indian tribes from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Including Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, among others,they were moved from their homelands to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. More information about Trail of Tears.
- "I saw the helpless Cherokees arrested and dragged from their homes, and driven at the bayonet point into the stockades. And in the chill of a drizzling rain on an October morning I saw them loaded like cattle or sheep into six hundred and forty-five wagons and started toward the west....On the morning of November the 17th we encountered a terrific sleet and snow storm with freezing temperatures and from that day until we reached the end of the fateful journey on March the 26th 1839, the sufferings of the Cherokees were awful. The trail of the exiles was a trail of death. They had to sleep in the wagons and on the ground without fire. And I have known as many as twenty-two of them to die in one night of pneumonia due to ill treatment, cold and exposure...'"
- Private John G. Burnett, Captain Abraham McClellan's Company, 2nd Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Mounted Infantry, Cherokee Indian Removal, 1838-39
- It is estimated that out of the 17,000 Cherokee men, women, and children, 6,000 died on the 1,200 mile march called the Trail of Tears,other Cherokee escaped to North Carolina.
- In his final report on the removal, George Gaines wrote Lewis Cass, "in the three years of removal, we have transported more than 6,000 Choctaws from Mississippi to the new Choctaw Nation in the West." Actually, the figure was from 1500 to 2000 more than Gaines had estimated in his report to Cass. By Jan. 1, 1834, there were from 7,500 to 8,000 Choctaws residing in the new western lands.
- Bishinik, March 1995
- As many as 10,000 Choctaw men, women and children made the journey to what would be called Indian Territory, with some 2,500 deaths on the Trail of Tears.
Dawes Act of 1887
The Dawes Act of 1887 authorized the President of the United States to subdivide Native American tribal landholdings into allotments distributed to the individual tribal members. It also opened up remaining Native land for white settlers.
Although the act was passed in 1887, the federal government implemented the Dawes Act "on a tribe-by-tribe basis" thereafter. For example, in 1895, Congress passed the Hunter Act, which administered Dawes "among the Southern Ute.
The "Five Civilized Tribes" (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee, and Seminole) were initially exempt from the Dawes Act, resulting in the creation of the Dawes Commission in 1893.
Dawes Act Resources
- ↑ Greenwood, Len. “Choctaw History - Trail of Tears from Mississippi Walked by Our Ancestors.” Chahta Anumpa Aiikhvna School of Choctaw Language, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, 2017, http://www.choctawschool.com/home-side-menu/history/trail-of-tears-from-mississippi-walked-by-our-ancestors.aspx. Reprinted from March 1995 Bishinik
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