Native Americans Battle Over Land
BY: Hannah Leclair
Western Frontier Summative Assessment
Native Americans vs. American Government
Throughout history, people have always fought over land, because with land comes power. The Greeks and the Romans fought over Greece, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic fought over the West Sahara, and Central Tibetan Administration and the People's Republic of China fought over Tibet. Another example of people fighting over land is when the Native American Indians and the American Government fought over the Western part of the United States. The American Government won, but they did some very unfair things to the Native Americans to win.
The first example that the American Government did not treat the Native Americans fairly is when the Native Americans wanted to preserve civilization, the American Government wanted to change them. The American Government did not allow them to be nomadic and forced them on to reservations. The southeastern indians were recommended into the Oklahoma reservations. The Sioux Native Americans were recommended to the Dakota territory reservation. They originally did not want to move into the reservations but the Government tricked them into doing so. They created the Dawes Act of 1887 which prohibited the Native Americans from doing many things. The act tried to break up reservations, which was what little land the indians had left. Secondly it said that the indians would become part of the American Government. They wanted them to become farmers and citizens. Thirdly the Act weakened the Native Americans culture and traditions. It weakened their culture and traditions because their culture was to be nomadic and follow the buffalo. They wanted to kill all the buffalo off, and force the Native Americans to become farmers. They Native Americans were used to following the buffalo and just picking off the land. They would kill the buffalo and use all their parts to make food, clothes, weapons, and houses. When the American Government created the Dawes Act, they did not consider how greatly it would affect the Native Americans.
There are four major ways in which the Native Americans are still impacted today. They are impacted in employment, housing, living conditions and their health, and not in a good way. Four to eight out of ten Native American adults are unemployed (Living). The lack of job opportunity in the Native American community is the cause of this. Adults are often forced to leave the reservation to get a job, forcing the grandparents to raise the children (Employment). Their housing conditions are not much better. There are 90,000 homeless Native Americans (Housing). Less than 50% of their houses are connected to the public sewer. 30% of the native american homes are overcrowded because families are forced to move into their relative's home because they can not afford their own home, or they are already homeless (Living). The wait for a normal house is up to three years long. It is not unheard of for three generations of a family to live in a two bedroom house (Housing). They also do not all have heating and electric. These living conditions cause health issues among the Native American community (Housing). 55% of Native Americans rely on the Indian Health Service for medical support (Health). Due to the Native Americans being greatly underfunded they’re hospitals are not up to date and often times they do not have the proper medical equipment needed. Not including hospitals, there are no pharmacies in the community (Health). Since the Native Americans have been forced west they have started becoming more susceptible to certain diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the Native American communities. 33% of the Native Americans that have heart disease will die before the age of 65 due to lack of proper medical supplies and healthy living conditions (Health).The Native Americans were forced to move West by the American government. Moving West had a negative impact on the Native Americans which is still affecting them today.
Image Collage of Native Americans in the West
Video of John Green Crash Course: Westward Expansion
Video, Image and Website Citaions
Barry, David. 1885. “Chief-Sitting-Bull.”
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitting_Bull>. 15 March 2016.
Catlin, George. 1844. “Buffalo Hunt.”
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bison_hunting>. 15 March 2016.
Leslie, Frank. June 1871. “Buffalo in the way of Train.”
<http://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-buffalohunters.html>. 15 March 2016
“Native American Aid.” http://www.nrcprograms.org. National Relief Charities, 2015.
SM, Alexis. “Crash Course U.S. History E24 Westward Expansion.”
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfkPmdR9eh8>. Youtube. Google. 24 June 2015.
Web. 14 March 2016.
U.S. Department of Interior. 15 December 2014. “Federal Lands and Indian Reservation Maps”.
http://nationalmap.gov/small_scale/printable/fedlands.html>. 15 March 2016.
United States Department of Interior. 1911. “Indian Land for Sale.”
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes_Act>. 15 MArch 2016.
N.D. “Oklahoma Reservation.”
<http://www.bradley-ok.us/history2.html>. 15 March 2016.
31 December 2015. “Dakota Territory.”
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakota_Territory>. 15 March 2016.
17 January 2013. “Buffalo Extermination 01”.
1928. “Two Sioux Indians in Native Dress in Front Tepee.”