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Native Americans. Culture and Change. Culture. Some Native Americans were farmers, most were nomads following buffalo herds Native Am lived in extended family groups Dependent on nature for food and religion Lived in bands of 500 headed by governing council Gender determined task assignment.

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Native Americans

Culture and Change


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Culture

  • Some Native Americans were farmers, most were nomads following buffalo herds

  • Native Am lived in extended family groups

  • Dependent on nature for food and religion

  • Lived in bands of 500 headed by governing council

  • Gender determined task assignment


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Changes under Pressure

  • Ranchers, miners, and farmers move into Plains territory

  • Result deprived Native Am of hunting grounds and forced to relocate

  • Railroad building through plains territory

  • Disruption of buffalo herds


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Resistance

  • 1862 Sioux uprising; Sioux moved to reservations in Minnesota

  • Government promise payments to support themselves

  • Traders keep payments to pay off debts

  • 1862 Congress delayed payments

  • Dakota tribe faced starvation; denied credit to buy food


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Sioux uprising

  • Chief Little Crow wage war against soldiers not civilians

  • Lost control of warriors- slaughter civilians

  • Military tribunal sentenced 307 Dakota Indians to death- only 38 executed

  • Military troops sent to patrol plains to prevent further uprisings


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Lakota Indians

  • Chief Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull

  • Fight to control their hunting grounds

  • 1866 Military defeated by Red Cloud

  • Fetterman’s Massacre- Crazy Horse ambush army

  • Sand Creek Massacre- between Cheyenne, Arapaho and miners


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Sand Creek cont.

  • Native Am attacked wagon trains, stole horses and cattle; 200 settlers killed

  • Native Am orders to surrender at Fort Lyons and some complied

  • 1864 Remaining Indians under Chief Black Kettle seek peace; told to wait at Sand Creek

  • No one knows what really happened


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Sand Creek cont.

  • Some say Chief Black Kettle flew both the American flag and white truce flag

  • Some say the army brutally murdered the Indians

  • Others say they battled for two days and in the end 14 soldiers died and anywhere from 60-600 Native Americans died


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Indian Peace Commission

  • Formed in 1867

  • Created two large reservation for Sioux and Southern Plains Indians

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs put in charge

  • Native Am were forced to sign treaties

  • Did not guarantee compliance with terms

  • Result- Indians on reservation faced poverty and corruption


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Last Native American Wars

  • By 1870’s many Native Am leave reservations in disgust

  • Return to traditional life of hunting

  • Buffalo herds depleted

  • Buffalo hunters kill for hides and sport

  • Railroad hire sharpshooters

  • Military encouraged buffalo hunting


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Battle Little Bighorn

  • Background- Lakota and Sioux reservations located in Black Hills where gold discovered

  • Native Am moved to Bighorn Mts. In Montana

  • June 25,1876 Lt. Col. George Custer launched a 3 prong attack in broad daylight on Lakota


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Battle Little Bighorn cont

  • 2500 Lakota and Cheyenne resist; killed 210 soldiers

  • Newspapers portrayed Custer as victim of massacre

  • Fear retaliation, Sitting Bull flees to Canada

  • Chief Joseph of Nez Perce tribe refused to return to reservation


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Little Bighorn cont.

  • Chief Joseph retreat on 1300 mile journey

  • 1877 Chief Joseph surrendered

  • Native Am resistance ended 1890

  • Lakota defied army orders and continued to perform the “Ghost Dance”

  • Sitting Bull arrested but in resistance died

  • Troops tried to disarm Native Am at Wounded Knee Creek


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Last Battle

  • Wounded Knee; 200 Native Americans died, 25 soldiers

  • In the aftermath- authors such as Helen Hunt Jackson bring attention to the plight of the Native Americans

  • She wrote “A Century of Dishonor” 1881

  • Focus on the need to assimilate Native American


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Dawes Act 1887

  • Head of household received 160 acres; single men 80 acres, children 40 acres.

  • Rest of reservation land sold to settlers and the money put into a trust fund for Native Americans

  • Some Native Am succeeded as farmers

  • Most lacked the desire or the training

  • Private ownership of land went against tradtion


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