American Treatment of the Indian Tribes Essay

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American Treatment of the Indian Tribes

The American Indian lived a life being one with nature. In their way, they understood the ecological demands of the land and knew that if they took care of the land the land would take care of them. They possessed an untouched wisdom living in harmony with the environment. They hunted the land for buffalo, which provided food and clothing for the ages to come. In time they would almost become non existent at the hands of the “white”
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The American Indians were known as migratory hunters who followed the buffalo as their main staple. This led to the belief that Indians had no attachment to any particular lands. This belief ignored the facts that some tribes harvested crops and lived in settled villages. Further push to the West to develop the land resulted in the removal of Indians from those lands.
As the Civil War closed, the Indians with the white settlers moving into their lands and a main source of livelihood—the buffalo—threatened with extinction, was faced with a fundamental choice: surrender or fight. Many chose to fight. In 1887 the Dawes Act made it possible for Indians to own their own land. This Act aiming to end tribal life authorized the President to allot portions of land to individual Indians - 160 acres to each head of family and 80 acres to others. The land was to be used to establish private farms, and authorized the Secretary of Interior to negotiate with the tribes for purchasing "excess" lands for non-Indian settlement. The real purpose of the act was to further break up the tribes by acquiring more land. Tribes as a whole were not willing to give up any portion of the land, but as individual owners, the Indians were more liable to sell the land. This resulted in the Indian land holdings decreasing from 138 million acres to 48 million half of this being barren land.
Assimilation is the process in which one group takes on the
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