Presentation on theme: "“No Little Lies” A Look at US Indian Policy in the 19th century and Today."— Presentation transcript:
“No Little Lies” A Look at US Indian Policy in the 19th century and Today
Goals for this Lesson: ● To analyze the causes and effects of the US government’s “Indian policy” from the 19th century to the present ● To evaluate critically the relationship between the US government and Native Americans from the 19th century to the present ● To evaluate change/continuity in the US government’s “Indian policy” from the 19th century to the present ● To interpret primary sources in context, and to analyze historical evidence ● To draw conclusions about the impact of 19th century US “Indian policy” to present day issues
“So tractable, so peaceable, are these people [the Taino Indians] that I swear to your Majesties there is not in the world a better nation. They love their neighbors as themselves, and their discourse is ever sweet and gentle, and accompanied with a smile; and though it is true that they are naked, yet their manners are decorous and praiseworthy.” -Christopher Columbus, in a letter to Ferdinand and Isabella
Background: What is Revisionism? ● Revisionism is a trend among modern historians that seeks to challenge traditional views of history as biased or skewed, and to change the way that history is perceived ● Revisionists analyze history through perspectives that are traditionally neglected (if “history is written by the winners”, then revisionists want to see historical events through the eyes of the “loser”) ● The goal of revisionism is to take an objective rather than a subjective view of history-to eliminate bias and slant and understand history “as it was” ● Revisionists practice historical skepticism; they constantly weigh evidence, especially primary sources, to evaluate the validity of accepted history
A traditional view of Columbus’ landing depicts him as a noble and gallant adventurer, without much attention given to the natives (background right).
A revisionist might find more significance in a document such as this; here, Columbus’ soldiers hack off the hands of Arawak forced laborers who failed to meet a mining quota imposed by the Europeans, a decidedly ignoble representation of the famous explorer.
What Are Some Problems With Revisionism? ● Revisionism may sound like a perfect, objective view of history, but it’s not without problems… ● Revisionist histories are revolutionary in that they challenge accepted views; oftentimes, they create alternative histories (sometimes based on dubious or objectionable evidence) which hotly divide scholars as to what is truth and what is fabrication ● Revisionists tend to accept the views of minority groups, leaving a very real possibility of overcorrecting bias, or merely skewing history a different way ● Revisionist histories can be provocative, sometimes even accusatory, levying an unfair amount of blame on a certain group retrospectively without fully considering both sides of an argument or the context of the period We should always be careful to consider history from all sides, and not be influenced too greatly by any perspective, but to be truly objective and to draw our own conclusions.
“They [Americans] made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.” -Red Cloud, chief of the Oglala Lakota
New England colonists meet with Samoset of the Pemaquid. In 1625, at the behest of the colonists, Samoset, who had no concept of land ownership, signed over 12,000 acres of land occupied by the Pemaquid. It was the first deed of native land to the people who would become Americans.
How did Strained Relations between the US and Native Americans Begin? ● By the beginning of the Seven Years’ War, British colonists had pushed all the way into the Appalachians and beyond ● These settlers fought countless wars and skirmishes with Native Americans and raised military outposts, garrisoned with British soldiers, on the frontiers ● Powerful Native American sovereign states like the Iroquois Confederacy supported the French against the British
A French Map of the Iroquois Confederacy and Surrounding Territories, c.1680
“And We do further declare it to be Our Royal Will and Pleasure...to reserve under Our Sovereignty, Protection, and Dominion, for the use of the said Indians, all the Lands and Territories not included within the Limits of Our said Three new Governments [Quebec, East Florida, and West Florida]... “And We do hereby strictly forbid, on Pain of Our Displeasure, all Our loving Subjects from...taking Possession of any of the Lands above reserved…” -George III, Proclamation of 1763
How Did Strained Relations between the US and Native Americans Begin? The Proclamation Line of 1763 1.In what ways do these three documents signify a shift in British-Native American relations? 2.The halting of westward expansion was one point of animosity between the colonies and the British government. In what ways might this have affected Native Americans?
How did Early American Policies Affect Native Americans? North American Territory after the Seven Years’ War (1763) The United States after the American Revolution (1783)
The United States after the Louisiana Purchase (1803)
How did Early American Policies Affect Native Americans? “Our manifest destiny is to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions...We are the nation of progress, and who will, what can, set limits to our onward march?” -John L. O’Sullivan, American journalist, 1845 The United States, c. 1820
How did Early American Policies Affect Native Americans? 1.The term “manifest destiny” refers to a historic American belief in the divine right of the civilization and government of the United stated to span the North American continent. In what ways do these five documents represent this belief? 2.How might American expansionism after the Revolution have affected Native Americans?
How and Why did the Dispute over Tribal Sovereignty Begin? The Cherokee nation. The blue borders represent original Cherokee lands; the red borders represent the Cherokee nation at the close of the American Revolution; the green borders represent the Cherokee nation in about 1830.
“Article X. If any Cherokee Indian or Indians...shall...commit a robbery or murder, or other capital crime, on any citizens or inhabitants of the United States, the Cherokee nation shall be bound to deliver him or them up, to be punished according to the laws of the United States. “Article XI. If any citizen or inhabitant of the United States...shall go into any...territory belonging to the Cherokees, and shall there commit any crime...such offender or offenders, shall be subject to the same punishment...as if the offence had been committed within the jurisdiction of the state or district to which he or they may belong against a citizen or white inhabitant thereof.” -Treaty between the United States and the Cherokee nation, 1791
“SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the President [of the United States] to cause such tribe [as has removed itself west of the Mississippi] or nation to be protected, at their new residence, against all interruption or disturbance from any other tribe or nation of Indians, and from any other person or persons whatsoever. “SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the President to have the same superintendence and care over any tribe or nation in the country to which they may remove, as contemplated by this act, that he is now authorized to have over them...Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed as authorizing or directing the violation of any existing treaty between the United States and any of the Indian tribes.” -Indian Removal Act, Approved May 28, 1830
● In 1831, Samuel Worcester, a white missionary living among the Cherokee, was arrested for, and convicted of, failing to obtain a Georgia state permit to live on the Cherokee nation ● Worcester appealed his case, on the grounds that the Cherokee were an independent nation and didn’t have to answer to Georgia law; the case went to the US Supreme Court Worcester v. Georgia and Tribal Sovereignty Samuel Worcester
Worcester v. Georgia and Tribal Sovereignty ● Chief Justice John Marshall, who oversaw the case, ruled in favor of Samuel Worcester and moved to overturn the Georgia law under which he was prosecuted ● In his majority opinion, Justice Marshall argued that: Chief Justice John Marshall
“The Indian nations had always been considered as distinct, independent political communities, retaining their original natural rights as the undisputed possessors of the soil from time immemorial...The words ‘treaty’ and ‘nation’ are words of our own language...having each a definite and well understood meaning. We have applied them to Indians, as we have applied them to the other nations of the earth. They are applied to all in the same sense. “...The Cherokee nation, then, is a distinct community occupying its own territory...in which the laws of Georgia can have no force...” -US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall
Reaction to Worcester v. Georgia The “Trail of Tears”, a 1,200 mile forced removal of southeastern tribes (including the Cherokee) west of the Mississippi to the US government’s Indian Territory “The decision of the Supreme Court has fell still born, and they find that it cannot coerce Georgia to yield its mandate.” -President Andrew Jackson
How and Why did the Debate over Tribal Sovereignty Begin? 1.What do these documents show about American views on tribal sovereignty in the early 19th century? 2.To what extent was the Worcester v. Georgia ruling important for Native Americans? The “Trail of Tears”, 1838-39
What Factors Affected US-Native American Relations in the 19th Century? Map of Westward Wagon Routes, c.1850 Map of Proposed Pacific Railroad Routes, 1857
“We have sat and watched them pass here to get gold out and have said nothing...My friends, when I went to Washington I went into your money-house and I had some young men with me, but none of them took any money out of the house while I was with them. At the same time, when your Great Father’s people come into my country, they go into my money-house [Paha Sapa, the Black Hills] and take money out.” -Long Mandan, Sioux leader
What Factors Affected US-Native American Relations in the 19th Century? “Buy land. They’re not making it anymore.” -Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens), satirizing the rampant land speculation of the late 19th century
“A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers; but when I go up to the river I see camps of soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down my timber; they kill my buffalo...Has the white man become a child that he should recklessly kill and not eat? When the red men slay game, they do so that they may live and not starve.” -Satanta, Chief of the Kiowa
What Factors Affected US-Native American Relations in the 19th Century? Railroad men kill bison en masse to clear the tracks and feed legions of workers 1.What primary factors affected the relationship between Native Americans and the US in the 19th century? 2.What do these documents show about the condition of US-Native American relations in the mid-to- late 19th century?
History in Context: What is the “White Man’s Burden”? ● The “White Man’s Burden” was a 19th century concept used to justify European and American imperialism on a moral grounds ● The “theory” was that it was the “burden” of white men, as the world’s most superior race, to conquer nonwhite peoples in order to “civilize” them-to impose European culture, governmental institutions, and religion on native “heathens”-but also to cure disease, end famine, and protect the colonized natives ● The notion of the “White Man’s Burden” had existed for decades before the Indian-born British writer Rudyard Kipling penned his famous poem of that name:
“The White Man’s Burden”... Take up the White Man’s burden- In patience to abide, To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride; By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain To seek another’s profit, And work another’s gain. Take up the White Man’s burden- The savage wars of peace- Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease; And when your goal is nearest The end for others sought, Watch sloth and heathen Folly Bring all your hopes to nought. … Take up the White Man’s burden- And reap his old reward: The blame of those ye better, The hate of those ye guard- The cry of hosts ye humour (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:- “Why brought he us from bondage, Our loved Egyptian night?” -Rudyard Kipling, 1899
How did the Concept of the “White Man’s Burden” Affect US “Indian Policy”? “The whites were always trying to make the Indians give up their life and live like white men-go to farming, work hard and do as they did-and the Indians did not know how to do that, and did not want to anyway...” -Big Eagle, Santee Sioux Donehogawa (Ely Parker), the first Native American Commissioner of Indian Affairs
Native American children outside of their government-sponsored school
How did the concept of the “White Man’s Burden” Affect US “Indian Policy”? Comanches receiving supplies from American post agents at Timber Mountain Fork reservation post agency 1.To what extent did the notion of the “White Man’s Burden” affect US “Indian Policy” in the 19th century? 2.How might Native Americans have reacted to their characterization under this concept?
History in Context: What was the Dawes Severalty Act? ● The Dawes Severalty Act, passed in 1887, was enacted by the US government to liquidate Native American lands and redistribute them to families of natives in allotments, thereby abolishing tribal ownership in favor of individual ownership ● The Dawes Act also made residents of former Indian nations citizens of the United States, and subject to US jurisdiction
Approved on February 8, 1887 “An act to provide for the allotment of lands in severalty to Indians on the various reservations, and to extend the protection of the laws of the United States and the Territories over the Indians, and for other purposes. “Be it enacted, That in all cases where any tribe or band of Indians has been, or shall hereafter be, located upon any reservation created for their use...the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, authorized...to allot the lands in said reservations in severalty to any Indian located thereon… “[T]hat the United States does and will hold the land thus allotted, for the period of twenty-five years, in trust for the sole use and benefit of the Indian to whom such allotment shall have been made…
“That upon the completion of said allotments and the patenting of lands to said allottees, each and every member of the respective bands or tribes of Indians to whom allotments have been made shall have the benefit of and be subject to the laws, both civil and criminal, of the State or Territory in which they may reside...And every Indian born within the territorial limits of the United States to whom allotments shall have been made...who has voluntarily taken up, within said limits, his residence separate and apart from any tribe of Indians therein, and has adopted the habits of civilized life, is hereby declared to be a citizen of the United States…” -From the Dawes Severalty Act
The Dawes Severalty Act 1.In what ways does the Dawes Act seem to contradict the notion of tribal sovereignty? 2.How might their new US citizenship have affected Native Americans? Map of Indian Territory divided into allotments
What were the Effects of 19th Century US “Indian Policy”? A plains Indian war party awaits action, c.1870 “The Navahos, squaws, and children ran in all directions and were shot and bayoneted. I succeeded in forming about twenty men..I then marched out to the east side of the post; there I saw a soldier murdering two little children and a woman...I ran up as quick as I could. but could not...prevent him from killing the two innocent children and wounding severely the squaw.” -Capt. Nicholas Hodt, on the Massacre at Ft. Wingate
“Although this country was once wholly inhabited by Indians, the tribes, and many of them once powerful, who occupied the countries now constituting the states east of the Mississippi, have, one by one, been exterminated...If any tribe remonstrated against the violation of their natural and treaty rights, members of the tribe were inhumanly shot down and the whole treated as mere dogs.” -Donehogawa (Ely Parker), first Native American Commissioner of Indian Affairs
What were the Effects of 19th Century US “Indian Policy”? “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.” -Gen. Philip Sheridan The Battle of Little Big Horn, 1876
Aftermath of the Battle of Wounded Knee, the last battle of the Indian Wars, 1890
“I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream...the nation’s hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead.” -Black Elk, Sioux, reflecting on the massacre at Wounded Knee
What were the Effects of 19th Century US “Indian Policy”? 1.What were the results of the conflict between the US government and Native Americans? 2.In what ways do the Indian Wars, as these conflicts have collectively become known, represent the culmination of US “Indian Policy” from the policy’s earliest days?
How did the Relationship Between the US and Native Americans Change After the 19th Century? A young Native American mother and child during the Depression era John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, with two unidentified Native American Men, c.1935
“There is not among these three hundred bands of Indians one which has not suffered cruelly at the hands of either the government or of white settlers. The poorer, the more insignificant, the more helpless the band, the more certain the cruelty and outrage to which they have been subjected… “It makes little difference...where one opens the record of the history of the Indians; every page and every year has its dark stain. The story of one tribe is the story of all, varied only by differences of time and place...Colorado is as greedy in 1880 as was Georgia in 1830, and Ohio in 1795, and the United States government breaks promises now as deftly as then, and with the added ingenuity from long practice…” -Helen Hunt Jackson, white author of A Century of Dishonor, 1881
How did the Relationship Between the US and Native Americans Change After the 19th Century? John Gates, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, c.1940 Civilian Conservation Corps workers restore totem poles in the Pacific Northwest during the Depression
How did the Relationship Between the US and Native Americans Change After the 19th Century? Ernest Childers, of the Creek, receives the Medal of Honor for his valor during the Second World War 1.How did American perceptions of Native Americans change after the 19th century? 2.How might this change have affected US attitudes toward Native Americans?
How did US “Indian Policy” Change after the 19th Century? Oglala Sioux carry a specially chosen cottonwood tree, which will become the centerpiece of a Sun Dance. Suppressed by the US government for years, the ritual has undergone a resurgence since the 1970’s.
Approved June 18, 1934 “An Act to conserve and develop Indian land and resources; to extend to Indians the right to form business and other organizations...to grant certain rights of home rule to Indians… “BE IT ENACTED …[That] The Secretary of the Interior, if he shall find it to be in the public interest, is hereby authorized to restore to tribal ownership the remaining surplus lands of any Indian reservation heretofore opened… “Except as herein provided, no sale, devise, gift, exchange, or other transfer of restricted Indian lands or of shares in the assets of any Indian tribe or corporation organized hereunder, shall be made or approved… “The Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to proclaim new Indian reservations on lands acquired pursuant to any authority conferred by this Act…” -Indian Reorganization Act, the “Indian New Deal”
Map of current Native American Reservations (data collected for the 2000 census)
“During the past generation, some tribal reservations have prospered, others have not. There are now, and probably always will be, disagreements within tribes as to the direction their people should take...it is no longer unusual to meet American Indian lawyers, physicians, college professors, computer specialists, artists, writers, or members of almost any other profession or trade. Yet on some reservations there is still a shortage of proper places in which to live. And the county with the deepest poverty in the United States is still a tribal reservation.” -Dee Brown, preface to Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
How did US “Indian Policy” Change after the 19th Century? Alutiiq Indians rebury remains repatriated under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)
History in Context: What is Cobell v. Salazar? ● Allotments made by the Dawes Severalty Act were intended to be held by the US government in trusteeship for 25 years, to be turned over to their American Indian inhabitants after that time, provided they had demonstrated adherence to “civilized” life ● Due to poor soil on the plots, a number of crops failed; allotment overseers attributed the failure to native “incompetence” and refused to relinquish the titles ● In 1934, the allotment system was repealed, and the Dawes government ownership program became permanent
History in Context: What is Cobell v. Salazar? ●In 1996, Elouise Cobell, of the Blackfoot, and several others filed suit against the US government for inadequately accounting for income from trusts, and later for mismanagement of trust assets ●Cobell v. Salazar remains the largest class action suit in US history, with as many as 500,000 plaintiffs ●In 2009, the case was settled for a record $3.9 billion Elouise Cobell, plaintiff
President Barack Obama signs the historic $3.4 billion Cobell settlement bill
How did US “Indian Policy” Change after the 19th Century? 1.What do these documents show about US “Indian Policy” after the 19th century? 2.What struggles do these documents suggest still face Native Americans? 3.What struggles do these documents suggest still face the US government?
What statements do all the documents, taken together, make about the complex relationships between the US and American Indians? Complete the lesson follow up, keeping in mind this essential question.
Sources ● Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. New York: Picador, 1971. Print. ● Jackson, Helen Hunt. A Century of Dishonor. New York, 1881. Print. ● New Georgia Encyclopoedia. Georgia Humanities Council, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. ● "The Dawes Act." New Perspectives on The West. PBS, 2001. Web. 27 Apr.2014 ● "Avalon Project - The Royal Proclamation - October 7, 1763." Avalon Project - The Royal Proclamation - October 7, 1763. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. ● "The Avalon Project : Treaty With the Cherokee : 1791." The Avalon Project : Treaty With the Cherokee : 1791. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. ● "Primary Documents in American History." Indian Removal Act: (Virtual Programs & Services, Library of Congress). Web. 6 Nov. 2014. ● "Worcester v. Georgia." LII / Legal Information Institute. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. ● "Internet History Sourcebooks." Internet History Sourcebooks. Fordham University. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. ● Web. 6 Nov. 2014..
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