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Westward Expansion and the American Indians

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1 Westward Expansion and the American Indians

2 Review of Tensions The relationship between white settlers and Native Americans had always been defined by one fundamental difference in understanding: Native Americans saw the land as sacred and shared by all White settlers saw the land a valuable resource that could be bought and sold by individuals By the end of the Civil War, many Native Americans had been forced out West The discovery of mineral resources made white settlers think of the West as potentially valuable Native Americans were forced onto small reservations of land that was not seen as useful

3 Tensions Build In addition to the land being poor, Native Americans suffered from new diseases and the loss of the buffalo herds due to white hunters Tensions between settlers and Native Americans led to attacks and counterattacks

4 Policy Shifts The U.S. Indian Peace Commission decided the best course of action was a policy of “civilization” in which whites would encourage Native American assimilation

5 “Indian Wars”

6 Red River War US government failed to abide by the 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge Allowed hunters on Kiowa and Comanche hunting grounds Food and supplies from the East weren’t delivered White lawlessness unpunished Native Americans attacked Texans near the Red River (TX) in June 1874 Fighting continued for a years until last Comanche holdouts surrendered

7 Battle of the Little Big Horn
The Black Hills Gold Rush of brought whites into Sioux hunting grounds Chiefs Crazy Horse and Siting Bull tried to drive them out, but U.S. Army sent in troops June 1876, Col. Custer and 250 men went ahead of the force and found 2,000+ Sioux near the Little Bighorn River (MT) Crazy Horse led the charge that killed Custer and all of his men

8 Nez Perce Refugees In 1877, the U.S. gov’t decided to move the Nez Perce onto a smaller reservation so white people could have their land The Nez Perce and their leader Chief Joseph were mostly Christian farmers who had made the best of the land they’d been given in modern-day Idaho Chief Joseph led his tribe miles to Canada in an attempt to escape U.S. troops who were sent to force them off their land They were cut off and moved to their new, barren reservation (OK)

9 Ghost Dance Movement The many losses suffered by Native Americans led to a religious revival based on the Ghost Dance, which they believed would: Banish white settlers Restore buffalo herds

10 Wounded Knee The U.S. gov’t feared where the Ghost Dance Movement might lead, so they ordered the arrest of Sitting Bull in The confrontation that followed resulted in Sitting Bull’s death along with several others. The U.S. cavalry caught up with the escaping Native Americans at Wounded Knee (SD) and slaughtered them.

11 Assimilation I want you to investigate how the U.S. government attempted to culturally assimilate the Native Americans on your own. Use the search terms below to find information that interests you and that you’d be interested in sharing with the class: Dawes Act Cultural assimilation of Native Americans American Indian boarding schools You may start with, but please proceed from there for more detailed information.

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