Dawes Act and Native Americans

By: Camryn and Grace

Thesis Statement

The Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 affected Indians greatly, without them really even knowing. Although the Act was meant to help the Indians, it had more of a negative effect on their lives



An actual picture of the Dawes Act- CK

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What is the Dawes Act?

The Dawes Severalty Act was created to assimilate the Indians into the "mainstream" white society and protect their land rights.(4) The government wanted Indians to become American citizens and rid them of their tribal traditions.(7) The author of this Act was Senator Henry L. Dawes, and it was approved on February 8th, 1887(6). It allowed the head of a family 160 acres of land(6), but some other people were only allotted 80 acres of land. Allotments that were to be only for grazing were doubled in size.(8) The Indians and other people did not own the land, the government held it for 25 years, and after that period, the Indians became U.S. citizens.(6) The act did not only apply to Indians, it was useful for orphans and settlers under 18.(2) They were allowed 40 acres of land.(6)


CK & GM

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A poster advertising the land the indians were allowed to buy- CK

Negative Effects of the Dawes Act

The Dawes Act was never originally meant to harm the indians, it was meant to benefit them. However, there were still many negative effects on the indians. For example, the act broke up indian tribal mass, and actually reduced the amount of land the indians held.(7) The act also created many opportunities for white plundering of indian land.(2) It was easy for them to take advantage of the indians, because they had no experiennce with private land ownership.(6) They lost about 86 million acres of the 130 million they were given, and most of the land remaining was not suitable for farming.(6) Since, the act was created to make indians more like the Americans, it succeeded in disrupting what was left of traditional native american culture, and divided the land.(2)


CK

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This graph compares the land the indians were given to the land that they lost- CK

Important People to the Dawes Act:

First and third pictures added by GM

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This map shows the Land the indians had left after it was taken away.- CK

The Dawes Act of 1887

A video describing the Dawes act of 1887- CK

Boarding Schools for the Indians

The Dawes Act contained rules about schooling also. Most Indian children were forced to go to school. Thomas Morgan, who was the commissioner of Indian Affairs made sure this part of this act went into effect. He was basically trying to make them like the white children. They were subject to an 8-year schooling process. Thomas thought this would give them a 6th grade education and make them more fluent and better at the English language. When the children got to the schools they were washed roughly, their looks were completely changed, and they were not treated very well. The rules of schooling in the Dawes Act changed throughout the years where the children had to learn vocational skills instead of or more than the math. This focused the schooling more on the kinds of jobs and things the children would need for their lives.(9)



GM

Reform/Boarding Schools Today

A reform school today is more of a school for juvenile offenders, particularly boys. This is an alternative to jail. Reform schools used t be only for younger kids and teenagers, but it was considered incarceration so they had to change that.(10)


Boarding schools are different these days. Now-a-days they are basically schools were students and teachers can live that are usually very safe and good environments. You aren't forced to go to them and you don't have to change your look and get treated poorly(11)


The Indian boarding schools had some different purposes than the boarding schools today. The boarding schools today and the boarding schools established for the Dawes Act are meant for teaching/learning. The difference is that the Indian children were forced to go to the boarding schools back then(12) and children aren't forced to go to them now.(13) Plus, the Indians children were treated very, very poorly at their boarding/reform schools,(14) unlike today's boarding schools.(15)


GM

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This picture is a drawing of what it would look like while the Indians were moving because of the Dawes Act. GM

Bibliography/ Sources

1. Nebraska Studies. "The Reservation System: Native American Lands Sold Under the Dawes Act.” Accessed September 25, 2013. http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0700/frameset_reset.html?http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0700/stories/0701_0143.html


2. US America History. “American History.” Last edited April 29, 2011. Accessed September 25, 2013.

http://usamericahistory.blogspot.com/2011/04/dawes-act.html


3. Spartacus Educational. “Henry Dawes.” Accessed September 25, 2013

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/WWdawesC.htm


4. PBS. “Alice Fletcher.” Accessed September 25, 2013

http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/people/d_h/fletcher.htm


5. Our Documents “Dawes Act (1887).” Accessed September 25, 2013

http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc_large_image.php?flash=true&doc=50


6. Our Documents “Dawes Act (1887).” Accessed September 25, 2013

http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=50


7. George Brown Tindall and David Emory Shi. America, A Narrative History: Volume 2. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2011.


8. David J. Wishhart. "Encyclopedia of the Great Plains: Dawes Act" University of Nebraska-- Lincoln, 2011. http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/encyclopedia/doc/egp.law.015.


9. "Indian Boarding Rights: Boarding Schools and Government, School Life and its Consequences." http://www.users.muohio.edu/johnso58/246SNboardingschools.html


10. "Wise Geek: Clear answers for common questions; What Is a Reform School?" http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-reform-school.htm


11. "What is a Boarding School?" Linden International Recruitment Tours. Linden Tours 2011. http://www.boardingschooltours.com/parents/boarding-school.aspx.


12. "Indian Boarding Rights: Boarding Schools and Government, School Life and its Consequences." http://www.users.muohio.edu/johnso58/246SNboardingschools.html


13. "What is a Boarding School?" Linden International Recruitment Tours. Linden Tours 2011. http://www.boardingschooltours.com/parents/boarding-school.aspx.


14. "Indian Boarding Rights: Boarding Schools and Government, School Life and its Consequences." http://www.users.muohio.edu/johnso58/246SNboardingschools.html


15. "What is a Boarding School?" Linden International Recruitment Tours. Linden Tours 2011. http://www.boardingschooltours.com/parents/boarding-school.aspx.