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The First Americans - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The First Americans. Native People Led a Nomadic Hunting Lifestyle Depended on the Buffalo for Nearly Everything. American Thirst for Land. Homesteaders moved onto the Plains seeking land to settle and farm.

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The First Americans

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Native People

  • Led a Nomadic Hunting Lifestyle
  • Depended on the Buffalo for Nearly Everything.

American Thirst for Land

  • Homesteaders moved onto the Plains seeking land to settle and farm.
  • Treaties with Native Tribes made land available for settlers and left less valuable land for the Native People.

American Thirst for Land

  • Gold discoveries led to encroachments on Indian Lands.
  • U.S. pushed Native People to move onto Reservations
  • Native people fought to preserve their land.

Buffalo Hunting

  • Conducted by the Railroads to provide meat for work crews.
  • Promoted by the U.S. Government to weaken Native Americans on the Great Plains

Native Leaders

Lakota (Sioux) Comanche

Sitting Bull Crazy Horse Quanah Parker


Native Leaders

Apache Nez Perce

Geronimo Chief Joseph



  • The Northern Plains tribes defeated George Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn.
  • Custer and over 200 men were killed.
  • The Lakota eventually moved to the Reservation anyway.


  • The Comanche were defeated at Palo Duro Canyon by RanaldMacKenzie and the 4th Cavalry.
  • U.S. forces destroyed the Comanche horse herds
  • Comanche were forced to move to the Reservation


  • Geronimo and a small band of Apache fought againstU.S. encroachment for over 10 Years.
  • Over 5000 U.S. troops were used to locate Geronimo’s band.
  • Geronimo surrendered to General George Crook in 1886


  • The Nez Perce fled their homeland and fought a series of battles with the U.S. Army that covered over 1500 miles.
  • Forced to surrender less than 40 miles from Canada & freedom.
  • Upon surrendering, Chief Joseph said “From where the suns now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

Reservation Life

  • Native people were forced to rely on corrupt Indian agents for food, shelter & all necessities of life.
  • Agents took money intended for the Indians, & bought the cheapest supplies available.
  • Agents kept leftover money for themselves.


  • Native children were taken from the reservations and placed in boarding schools.
  • Children were forced to learn American culture.

The Dawes Act of 1887

  • "An Act to Provide for the Allotment of Lands to Indians on Reservations,"
  • Emphasized treatment of Native Americans as individuals rather than as members of tribes.
  • Goal was to eliminate the reservation system.

The Land Rushes

  • The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 was the first land rush.
  • The area opened to settlement included part of the present-day state of Oklahoma.
  • An estimated 50,000 people lined up for their piece of the available two million acres.

The Land Rushes

  • Many people entered the unoccupied land early & hid until the legal time of entry to lay quick claim to some of the most choice land.
  • These people became known as "Sooners."