Presentation on theme: "Central to the Plain’s Indians way of life was the Buffalo. Millions of Buffalo roamed the Great Plains and provided the Sioux and other tribes with food,"— Presentation transcript:
Central to the Plain’s Indians way of life was the Buffalo. Millions of Buffalo roamed the Great Plains and provided the Sioux and other tribes with food, clothing, shelter and tools. The Buffalo was respected and even worshipped by the Plains Indians. The disruption of the Buffalo’s migration patterns and the ultimate destruction of the herds was the Indians worst nightmare.
The Sioux were a nomadic people. They lived in teepee’s and moved to different locations in different seasons. Following the Buffalo herds and looking for shelter from winter storms. They tended to live in extended family units. Elders lead the tribe. Medicine Men and Warriors both held in high regard.
There would be only a few hunts each year. Indians would never take more Buffalo than they needed. The introduction of horses and rifles greatly aided the Sioux in the hunt.
The Buffalo were a nuisance to railroads. The herds would destroy track and delay trains. Many company started hiring men to destroy the Buffalo. Only the hide was valuable to businesses in the east.
The U.S. Army dispatched soldiers to the West to defend settlers and railroads from the threat of Indian attacks. Some of the regiments sent west were made up of African-American soldiers who were known as “Buffalo Soldiers”.
Battles Sand Creek Massacre – On November 29, 1864 U.S. troops led by militia Colonel John Chivington attacked a group of Cheyenne and Arapaho who were camped at Sand Creek in Colorado. Following his orders to “kill all, big and little. Nits make lice.” the soldiers killed 150 Indians. Mostly women and children. Fetterman Massacre – In December 1866 Crazy Horse ambushed Captain William Fetterman and his troops as they pursued him on Lodge Trail Ridge. In the “Battle of the Hundred Slain” Fetterman and all of his men were killed.
Sitting Bull was a Sioux medicine man and warrior. During this period of history he became an important leader of the Sioux nation as a whole. Along with Crazy Horse he would lead his people to defend their land and their way of life against increasing numbers of white settlers and U.S. soldiers. Along with leaders of other tribes, like Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, Sitting Bull called for the United States to honor it’s treaties with the tribes that called for providing basic supplies (food, blankets) and keeping settlers off of the lands set aside for the tribes. The U.S. broke every treaty it ever made with the tribes.
George Armstrong Custer was a Colonel with the Seventh Cavalry of the U.S. Army. He had served during the Civil War and had a reputation for flamboyant and reckless behavior. The Seventh Cavalry was tasked with breaking Sioux resistance in the Dakota’s. This meant tracking down and defeating Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.
The most famous battle was the Battle of The Little Bighorn, more famously known as Custer’s Last Stand. In June of 1876 Custer and the Seventh Cavalry had tracked a large Sioux war party led by Sitting Bull into Wyoming. Custer underestimated the strength of his opponent and led his men into battle against far higher numbers. Custer and all of his men died in the battle.
Wounded Knee On December 28 1890 the Seventh Cavalry would have their revenge on Sitting Bull and the Sioux. As a result of the growing “Ghost Dance” movement on the Dakota reservation the Sioux had been forced onto, U.S. troops were ordered to end the practice. When troops approached Sitting Bull to arrest him a firefight broke out and he was killed A group of about 350 Sioux were surrounded by the Seventh Cavalry and ordered to lay down their weapons. A soldier tried to grab the rifle of a deaf Sioux who did not comply and the gun went off. The soldiers began firing and after the dust had settled 300 Sioux lay dead or dying. This effectively ended all Indian resistance in the West.
Dawes Act Passed in 1887 the Dawes Act was designed to try and “Americanize” Native Americans. It attempted to do this in the following ways. Tribal ownership of land was no longer permitted. Indians were offered 160 acres of land (similar to the Homestead Act) and other lands on the reservations were sold by the U.S. government to white settlers. The proceeds from these sales was used to provide farming implements for the Indians. Schools were established on reservations to teach children English, history and math and to Christianize them. All Native American customs and traditions were strictly forbidden and the children had to dress just like white children.
Today, reservations remain some of the most poverty stricken locations in the United States. Rates of alcoholism and suicide are higher their than in many other areas. The lack of educational opportunities and jobs prevent those economies from thriving. The most successful reservations have allowed casinos to be built to help their communities prosper. That is why Harrah’s is in Cherokee.
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