Pre-19 th Century Indian Territory Clovis – 9,000 B.C.E. Folsom – 8,500 B.C.E. Early Agricultural Settlements – 5,000 B.CE. To 500 A.D. Mississippian Period – Spiro Mounds Wichita – Southwestern Oklahoma Caddo – Southeastern Oklahoma Pawnee – North Central Oklahoma Plains Apache (Kiowa-Apache) – Western OK
Horse Culture Starting in the 1500s, the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne and Arapaho receive the horse in the northern plains, they begin to move south, following the buffalo herds, ultimately arriving in the area including what is now western Oklahoma, but also encompassed parts of modern NM, TX, CO, and KS.
Osage Osage – Oral history indicates they followed the buffalo into northeastern Oklahoma for many generations (maybe thousands of years). Forced southwest after interacting with the French near St. Louis. Chief Clermont is the namesake for Claremore. First white settlement in I.T. 1796 near Salina.
1820s-1830s Arrival of Southeastern Tribes via removal and trail of tears, or the long walk. Many stories about how bad this experience really was. Thousands died. When the Cherokee arrive, the Osages immediately start fighting them. Fort Gibson has to be established (1824) to keep peace, receive removed people, and begin western military action.
1830s-1865 So-called golden era of the 5 "Civilized" Tribes The “civilized” term is applied by non- Indians to tribes for the period in which the five tribes from the SE formed governments, built schools, allowed missionaries into the nations, printed newspapers, established trade, etc. in Indian Territory.
Why did being “civilized” not help? Even though the Cherokees did all they could to be perceived as civilized, that did not stop them from being removed to Indian Territory where they had to start over again. Then, the nations were destroyed again in the Civil War.
1861-1865 Civil war in Indian Territory was complicated Tribal members fought on both sides for different reasons The ones that fought on the South's side wound up penalizing the whole tribe as the five tribes' land holdings were cut in half by the federal government. Opening up more removals and setting the stage for allotments and land runs.
Post-Civil War 1860s Treaties force tribes to allow railroads to cross tribal boundaries. Carpetbaggers, settlers, and lawlessness follow. Without any real federal jurisdiction, and tribal jurisdiction with limited powers, Indian Territory is the Wild West.
Medicine Lodge of 1867 Begins the process of confining the Kiowa, Cheyenne, Comanche, and Arapaho to reservations. Reservation period is a dark chapter in American History that includes the corrupt agents who did not provide adequate support materials for the people, and the beginning of the federal attacks on traditional lifeways.
1860s through 1880s The end of the Plains Indian wars in which the "un-civilized" Plains Tribes are brought in and put on reservations or sent to prison in Florida. Battle of the Washita - Custer attacks peaceful Cheyenne camp in what is now western Oklahoma. The people are treated very much like livestock during this time period.
Standing Bear 183? – 1908 Ponca In 1879, successfully argued in U.S. Federal Court that Native Americans “are persons within the meaning of the law”. 1 st Civil Rights Activist
Boarding School Movement Begins after the Civil War as Christians, with what they perceive as good intentions, advocate governmental assignment of Indian children to boarding schools. Some youth had good experiences. Others suffered psychological, physical, cultural, and long-term spiritual damage. Varying experiences: good, bad, tolerable, only option during depression.
1883 Courts of Indian Offenses established by Federal Government, to be carried out by agents. Bans all traditional ceremonies, making criminals out of medicine people, ceremonial leaders and participants. Tribal traditions go underground and are kept active in secret or under the guise of Christian activities.
Quanah Parker (Comanche) 1845-1911 Refused to accept Medicine Lodge Treaty Fought on to the Battle of Adobe Walls in TX Panhandle (1874). Symbolized cultural synthesis Advanced modern form of the Native American Church
Dawes Act (1887) Provided for the allotting of collectively held tribal lands to individual Indians. Once people were enrolled and allotted land, the rest was opened up for sale or settlement. Beginning of “detribalization process”. Strickland notes this process “transformed many of these Indian people from proud, prosperous, self-reliant citizens of their own small republics into landless manipulated outcasts in a white state” (36).
1890s Allotment period fraught with logistical inconsistencies, racism, and exploitation of Native people's misunderstanding of land ownership. Descendants are still impacted by full bloods of the period who enrolled as ¼ or 1/8 so they would have control over their land. Federal benefits are denied to those less than ¼.
Chitto Harjo (Muscogee-Creek) 1846 – 1912 Protested allotments. Defied the federal courts and the U.S. Army in their attempts to enforce enrollment. Crazy Snake rebellion Exploits sensationalized
Redbird Smith 1850 – 1918 Kee-too-wah traditionalist Protested allotment to U.S. Senators, showing them the Cherokee land patent given to his great- grandfather at treaty signing.
1890s Land runs (1889 – 1893) Territory unassigned to tribes after the allotments opened for settlement. Once vast tribal domains were carved into farm parcels and town plots within a very short period of time (10 to 15 years). Hence, contemporary American Indians not thrilled about celebrating land runs.
1907 With Oklahoma statehood, tribal governments are abolished.
Statehood Sentiments “Statehood was a bitter culmination of decades of conflict and of self-righteous programs to transform Indian Territory into a white commonwealth and make the American Indian a red farmer.” “Few whites ever understood the depth of the Indians’ agony at the passing of their nationhood.” –Rennard Strickland, 54.
20 th Century 1918 – With great distinction, American Indians serve in World War I 1924 – Indian Citizenship Act 1930s – “Indian New Deal” Indian Reorganization Act (1934) Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act (1934) Johnson O’Malley Act (1934)
Indian Reorganization Act The Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934, also known as the Wheeler-Howard Act or informally, the Indian New Deal, was a U.S. federal legislation which secured certain rights to Native Americans, including Alaska Natives.  These include a reversal of the Dawes Act 's privatization of common holdings of American Indians and a return to local self-government on a tribal basis (442). Two sides: (Traditional vs. Corporate Governmental structure)
Johnson O’Malley Act The Johnson-O’Malley act of 1934 was passed on April 16th, 1934, to subsidize education, medical attention, and other services provided by States or Territories to Indians living within their borders. The act came about as a federal aid program during the Indian New Deal of the 1930’s to help offset costs of tax-exempt Indians making use of State-owned and funded schools, hospitals, and other services.
Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act The Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of 1936, also known as the Thomas-Rogers Act, is a United States federal law that extended of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 which sought to return some form of tribal government to the many tribes in Indian Territory. This act extended the law to include those tribes within the boundaries of the state of Oklahoma which had been divided up by a series of land allotments known as the Oklahoma land runs.
1940s 1940s Boarding schools continue Tribes reorganizing With continued distinction, American Indians serve in WWII. –Thunderbird Division –Codetalkers
20 th Century 1950s – Urban Relocation Program in which Native people are removed to urban areas and given trade type jobs. 1950s – Tribal terminations 1960s – American Indian Movement –Alcatraz, Wounded Knee, BIA Takeover – brought awareness to Native American issues
1970s New Federal Programs –Housing –Education –Job Training –Tribal Governments Formed –Re-recognition of terminated tribes –Tribes begin to rebuild their governmental services systems. –ARPA (1979) Archaeological Resources Protection Act
Indian Self-Determination Act (1975) Public Law 93-638, or the Indian Self- Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975, often referred to simply as the Indian Self-Determination Act, enacted authorization for the Secretaries of the Interior and of Health, Education and Welfare and some other government agencies to enter into contract with and make grants directly to federally recognized Indian tribes.
1980s National Indian Gaming Association Forms Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (1988) National Indian Gaming Commission American Indian gaming now a $20 Billion industry.
1990s NAGPRA – Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (1990) IACA – Indian Arts and Crafts Act (1990) Irony of federal language preservation programs.
2000s Economic Development Citizen Potawatomi Nation –http://www.potawatomi.org/Enterprises/default.aspxhttp://www.potawatomi.org/Enterprises/default.aspx
Good News? Economic development of the contemporary era with regard to gaming and tribes being able to better take care of themselves independent of the Federal government. Cultural activities that are tribal identity markers still continue, such as the Kiowa Gourd Clan, Muscogee and Cherokee ceremonials, Osage I'nlonshka, etc.
Currently in Oklahoma 38 Federally Recognized Tribes Not including those who are enmeshed legislatively with other tribes, such as the Euchee, who are culturally distinct, but are enrolled with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Economic Impact Jobs (Cherokee Nation one of the biggest employer in NE Oklahoma) Impact of Federal dollars on roads, bridges, and other infrastructure “The Cherokee Nation has built more than $32 million worth of roads over the last ten years, and has more than $60 million more in progress right now.” (cherokee.org)
Gaming Impact of gaming (positive/negative) Positive: Jobs (construction/operation/nearby businesses), money to the state of Oklahoma, tribal self-reliance Negative: Stretching local non-Indian law enforcement resources, organized crime, problem gamblers.
Cultural Tourism American Indian Cultural Resource Center Cherokee Tourism
Emotional Evolution American Indian tribal history in Oklahoma can evoke a multitude of emotional responses. Anger (treatment by U.S. government and contemporary popular culture) Sadness (loss of life, lifeways, and land) Pride (recovery from these losses) Hope (vision for a positive future)
A Few Important Sources Debo, Angie. And Still the Waters Run: The Betrayal of the Five Civilized Tribes. Princeton: PU Press, 1974. Clark, Blue. Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma. Norman: OU Press, 2009.Clark, Blue. Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma. Norman: OU Press, 2009. Joyce, Davis, ed. “An Oklahoma I Had Never Seen Before.” Norman: OU Press, 1994. Strickland, Rennard. The Indians in Oklahoma. Norman: OU Press, 1980.
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