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Culture of the Plain Indians. Nomads roamed vast distances main source of food -the Buffalo Similarities Between Them Extended family networks Close relationship with nature Assignment of tasks Women generally performed domestic tasks: Rearing Children Cooking Preparing hides

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culture of the plain indians
Culture of the Plain Indians


roamed vast distances

main source of food

-the Buffalo

Similarities Between Them

Extended family networks

Close relationship with nature

Assignment of tasks

Women generally performed domestic tasks:

Rearing Children


Preparing hides

Men performed a variety of tasks that included:



Supervising the military life of the band

the dakota sioux uprising
The Dakota Sioux Uprising

Dakota Sioux

Government issued annuities

Payments to reservation dwellers


August, 1867

Late Payments

starving to death.

Chief Little Crow

food on credit.

Trader Andrew Myrick replied, “If they are hungry, let them eat grass or their own dung.”

Myrick dead

Grass stuffed in this mouth.

Military Tribunal

307 Dakota to death

President Lincoln reduced to 38.

Troops to the Plains

Sioux – The Lakota

The Lakota offered refuge to fleeing Dakota Indians

Chief Red Cloud

Chief Crazy Horse

Chief Sitting Bull

fetterman s massacre
Fetterman’s Massacre

Bozeman Trail

Link the mining towns with the East.

Sioux Indian hunting grounds

Chief Red Cloud warned

Fort Phil Kearney

Northern Wyoming

Frequently attacked

Captain William Judd Fetterman

82-man force sent to its rescue.

Trapped-Dec. 21, 1866

1,500 Sioux

Chief High Backbone

"The Fetterman Fight" by J. K. Ralston.

sand creek massacre
Sand Creek Massacre

Trading Stopped

Raiding wagon trains & stealing cattle and horses from ranches.

Estimate 200 settlers killed.

November, 1864

Chief Black Kettle

Negotiate Peace

To await at Sand Creek

Colonel John Chivington

Ordered to attack the Cheyenne at Sand Creek

Fourteen soldiers died

69-600 Native Americans were killed.

a doomed plan for peace
A Doomed Plan for Peace

Fetterman’s Massacre & Sand Creek Massacre,

Congress that something had to be done.

In 1867 Congress formed an Indian Peace Commission.

Two large reservations

Pressured Native American leaders into signing treaties

Those who refused



Corrupt American Traders

Demise of the Buffalo

The Army encouraged buffalo killing.

By 1889 very few of the animals remained

Helen Hunt Jackson’s A Century of Dishonor and Ramona

Criticism of policy towards American Indians

battle of the little bighorn
Battle of the Little Bighorn

1876 Lakota Sioux Reservation

Gold Mines

Expeditionary Force

General Alfred H. Terry.

Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer, Seventh Cavalry

June 25, 1876

Custer launched attack in broad daylight

2,500 Lakota and Cheyenne Warriors

Custer commanded about 210 soldiers

Newspapers portrayed the battle as a massacre.

The United States Army responded quickly

October of 1877, Chief Joseph surrendered

“Our chiefs are killed…The little children are freezing to death. My people…have no blankets, no food…Hear me, my chiefs; I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.”-quoted in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

tragedy at wounded knee
Tragedy at Wounded Knee

The Ghost Dance

Banned Religious ceremony

Celebrated “Day of Reckoning”

Reunite with deceased ancestors

Sitting Bull

Blamed for defiance

Resisted Arrest


Wounded Knee

Ghost Dance participants fled


200 Men/Women/Children Dead


Assimilate, or be absorbed, into American society as landowners and citizens.

That meant breaking up the reservation system into individual land allotments

This became law in 1887 with the Dawes Act.

160 acres of reservation land for farming

Like many homesteaders, they found the land allotments too small to be profitable and life too harsh to withstand.

americanization of the indians
Americanization of the Indians

Same young Indians a short time later

Young Indians upon arrival at Carlisle School in Penn.

the turner thesis
The Turner Thesis

…American history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the Great West.

The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development.

The frontier Americanized Americans.

The individual was rapidly acclimatized, though the process lasted 300 years.

Cheap or even free land provided a "safety valve" which protected the nation against uprisings of the poverty-stricken and malcontent.

  • Fredrick J. Turner