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Native American History

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Surname/tag: native_americans
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This space page is associated with the Native Americans Project. See also: Native Americans Project Reliable Sources.

Grandfather Great Spirit Fill us with the Light Give us the strength to understand And the eyes to see. Teach us to walk the soft earth as relatives to all that live.

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.



Eastern Lands

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.

Western Lands

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.

American Indian Lands

American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged..
Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
White Elk

American Indians

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[1]
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.
Trail of Tears Map


American Indian Nations

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


  1. 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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The “profiles” list is odd to say the least, and includes at least one mythical person (Mourning Dove). There is no way a single page can cover Native American History, it seems like the project page should be enough.
posted by Kathie (Parks) Forbes
I'm going to move the Profiles section to the Project page
posted by Jillaine Smith
And Trail of Tears has its own page: http://www.wikitree.com/Space:Trail_of_Tears; should we move what's on this page to that one and link to it from here?
posted by Jillaine Smith
As I'm re-familiarizing myself with all the pages related to the Native Americans project, I'm still trying to get my head around the purpose of this page vs. the purpose of the project page. Until it gets to profiles, it seems like a type of historical overview of Native Americans in what is now the United States. But then I'm uncertain about the purpose of the "Profiles" section. Can someone walk me through it?
posted by Jillaine Smith
Paula, too bad those decisions weren't documented anywhere so subsequent project leadership had something to follow or at least understand. The problem with both Moytoy and Doublehead is that the bulk of those "lines" is fictional. We've spent most of the last two years cleaning up those fictional profiles.
posted by Jillaine Smith
I think we are trying to eliminate the mythical family names like “Moytoy” and get the LNAB changed to Cherokee.
posted by Kathie (Parks) Forbes
We adopted the Tribe as last name when we noticed the duplicates that were made because of the policy at the time to name all indigenous peoples with last name Unknown. This was shortly after we put the project up. It started as a subproject to Westward Ho! named American Indians which only covered the western tribes. We got a lot of request for inclusion of Northeastern tribes. We consulted a Cherokee Nation member who strongly suggested we change the name so we did and made the sub a full project that covered all Native Americans. At that time we adopted Tribe as LNAB.

Later through member discussion, there were two famous lines they agreed should be given the last name they were popularly known by due to the continuation of multiple duplicates for these profiles. These were Moytoy and Doublehead. That part was changed after the project changed hands. It was a good idea and there were other famous lines that could have benefited from this idea due to the huge size of the Cherokee tribe and a few Plains Indian Tribes. Now, with the significant improvements with the matching system when adding a profile, that naming convention addition may no longer be needed. However, the name Moytoy is of great historical significance.

posted by Paula J
We now have a project page for Reliable NA Sources; I'm going to move the Sources section out of this page and onto that one.
posted by Jillaine Smith
I am interested in this project because many of my Creek ancestors were forced to march in the Trail of Tears.
posted by Anonymous Rankin
Think it's important not to forget the Iroquois Nation tribes who left New York in the 1700's The Onieda Tribe( one of the seven nations) settled in Wisconsin and Minnesota .My maternal grandfather was about 50% Native American.
It's not a duplicate. This page has a good deal of information that was never included on the NA Project Page. It is a very useful, very attractive page. And will not be merged into the NA Project Page.

Naming Guidelines should be included on the NA Project Page.